I hope this blog post finds you safe and healthy. It has definitely been a strange couple of months. I was working with a friend today, doing a guided meditation and some long distance healing, and before we began, she asked me how everything was going with me, having my husband Tony at home during this time. I could feel the tears well up and roll down my cheeks.
I told her I was happy to have Tony home, to see him every day for lunch, to walk around the park with him, to share laughter and to dance in the kitchen. I told her it is hard because the introvert in me craves alone time, time to get lost in a project for a day without interruptions, and while Tony would happily give me the space I need, I feel guilty for ignoring him for a day.
And while those are the first two things to pop out, I know there is something more, something all of us are feeling, and we just can’t name all that it entails. I believe what is underneath the surface right now is the unknown.
None of us know what to expect as the safety at home guidelines are lifted. We continue to be in new territory, taking it day by day, learning what is next. And while I can only do art and healing work when I am present in the moment, I don’t live there all day long. There is planning for next week, planning for the next season of cards, planning for my busy time in the fall. And there is no certainty in any of it.
When will my healing touch room no longer be Tony’s office, and when will it be safe to have people back in my home? What will it be like to be back in a public group while still maintaining a safe distance? I think my friend Andrea in her blog mentioned we have lost a sense of safety, and I think that is true.
As a highly sensitive person, I feel myself overwhelmed at times with collective sadness, anger, grief, and anxiety. At times I want to reach out and call someone, and at times I just want to hide away, sleep and hope tomorrow is better. It is normal to feel all of these feelings, and I have to remind myself that taking care of me in this time is paramount. If all I can do in a day is create a little piece of art, read a book, spend some time in the quiet listening to the wind chimes in our backyard, then I am doing well. Speaking to many of my friends, we are in the same boat. The unknown has a scrambling for what to do when we don’t know what is coming next.
What is interesting is that while there is a timeline, markers and thresholds that move us from one part of our lives to another, there are never guarantees. The only guarantee we can know as humans is there will be suffering. My suffering and your suffering are different. I know there are some people who love this time because they are being creative and moving in different ways with their lives. But most of us feel a sense of loss, our normal routine has been shifted, and we must find our way through new territory. Loss for one might be a job or food on the table. Loss for another may be the human connection of family, or friends. For another it may be loss of life.
This is not to say that one suffering is greater than another. The loss of a normal graduation or completion of high school or college is just as real for a young adult as someone losing a loved one. And we cannot play comparative suffering. We must recognize that in each moment, each experience of grief is real. All we can do is sit with each other, keep each other safe by following the safe distance practices, and share our own fears of the unknown. We cannot protect anyone from the fallout of this virus, and we shouldn’t try. Suffering is what makes us human, and it is what helps us grow and develop important skills like empathy and compassion.
We can’t skip over the hard parts and become the amazing humans we are called to be. Allowing ourselves to find meaning in this time, in the grief and pain of loss, is how we will gain more resiliency for whatever lies ahead.