I'm not sure who of you can relate to a sense of deep self-doubt. Like a crippling sort of doubt that convinces you that what you have to contribute is unoriginal, worthless, and devoid of meaning—all before you've even started. I don't know who of you can identify with an inner critic so blistering and cruel that it leaves you feeling muted, lacking, and without a purpose in many ways.

In so many aspects of my life, this has been me for the past several years even. It only makes sense—surprise, surprise, Enneagram reference incoming!—that I realized just a few weeks ago that I'm not a Two as I had thought for more than a couple of years but a Four in transit if you will. It makes sense now, my ability to enact such exacting, withering self-attack before I undertake any remotely creative endeavor—most certainly after the attempt as well!

It's challenging feeling like I have something to say, but knowing before I have even tried that, I have nothing of value to contribute. It feels a bit like drowning, only I'm the one holding my head under the water. I'm not entirely sure what did it, but I'm done with that—I have words again, feel inspired, connected to Flow, Mystery. And I cannot be silent anymore.

It's too much today. All that is going on. The virus itself, the loss of normalcy, the myriad government responses that simply feel inept and reckless. Everyone feels like they—myself included—are anxious, depressed, scared, sad, angry, frustrated, and possibly some mix of all the above. We are each of us struggling in our own way; the joy that I see amid sorrow is beautiful beyond words.

There is so much—again, it's too much—to grieve. How precious little do we have that has not changed forever as a result of this pandemic? Life cannot go back to normal as the old normal is dead and gone. And it happened far too abruptly for many of us. I know it did here in New York City.

For how long? We don't know. It could be a few more weeks, it could be more. We don't know. But people keep getting sick. People are dying in the hundreds here in the City. How long? How much more will we have to endure?

As an empath, I feel the sheer weight, the magnitude of this moment, as if entire mountains uprooted and placed themselves overnight on our chests, on our heads. It is crushing. It is too much. How do we carry on? And yet we're here today.

We are here. Together. Which is a feat for such an individualistic culture. In a country defined in so many ways by its fierce embrace of individualism, many of us are coming together. Many of us are choosing us, we, as opposed to me. So many people are choosing to live and act and breathe as if we are all connected, all one. We've always been one.

So, as one, we grieve. As one, we will lift one another up moment after moment, hour after hour, day after day. As one, we will get through today. As one, we will mourn the thousands of loved ones we've lost and have yet to lose. As one, we will become. One.

All are welcome; all are safe; all have what they need. All are already included. All are already one.

You are welcome here. You. Just as you are.