Do You Fear Being Isolated, or Are You Afraid of Meeting the Real You?
By no means do I intend to downplay the devastation unfolding on multiple levels around the globe. When I dwell on the ‘what if’s,’ or contemplate the emotions of the human angels in the frontline, I become immobilised. I’m an empath so it’s debilitating for me to take on the heaviness of our current reality. Over the past few weeks, I have cried, worried, been anxious and felt overwhelmed, but I’m yet to find any useful purpose for catastrophic thinking. So, I choose to let go of the unproductive thoughts as much as possible. We are living in unprecedented times and no one has the answers.
One thing is certain though. Many of us are being forced inwards. Inside our homes and inside our minds. Far away from the distractions of our ‘normal’ lives. Of course, there are those who are working harder than ever, or have children to look after, but even then, most of us aren’t partaking in any social activities, travel, sports, or any kind of recreation.
We are being blatantly confronted with the ‘me’ some of us haven’t spent much time with. A person we haven’t bothered to get to know. But in our isolation, we are being forced to come to terms with who we really are, how we react and how we treat each other. It’s what we’ve always needed to do, but have never found the time.
We have no choice now but to sit with our own thoughts, process our emotions and really feel things that we normally push aside in our busyness. Crises can uncover our weak spots too. Rising to the surface like the scum in a pot of boiling chicken. We think we know ourselves until we are placed under pressure. It’s easy to snap back into comfortable old habits when we are tested or face immediate threats. It’s of no use to remain in denial.
I thought… I had mastered my abundant mentality, but I bought extra toilet paper and supplies for fear of running out.
I thought… I was not wasteful, but now that I’m being frugal, I realise how much I used to throw out and take for granted.
I thought… I had control of my anxiety, but the feeling of my body shaking as I tried to sleep the other night (after seeing some horrific images on the TV) showed me otherwise.
These are just a few of the things I’ve noticed.
Last week it was hard to focus on anything other than my new jigsaw puzzle, but after a little time to process the sudden changes, I realised that one thing I am actually ok with, is being confined to the house. I feel a tad guilty because I’ve wanted things to slow down for a while. This is not what I had in mind though. Note to self: Be very specific about what I wish for in the future.
We can’t compare our experience of isolation with anyone else. Introverts will find it easier than extroverts. Those who are usually at home, will find it easier than those who aren’t. Some have gone from a super speedy pace to a grinding halt while others have been going slow for a while and some have a house full of people while others are totally alone.
We all need to be kind to each other, and ourselves and as we adjust to this new way of life. There is no right. There is no wrong. But are you comfortable with the person looking back at you in the mirror? Who are you becoming in this time of reflection?
In Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he illustrated how the extreme conditions of the Nazi death camps revealed a person’s true nature. Generous people still gave their last piece of bread to the needy when they had nothing left but their own thoughts.
Is it possible that this ‘crisis’ is a wake-up call for those of us who believe they do not need to change? Is it possible that when the pain reaches our individual threshold, necessary change can take place? Is it possible that we can grow more resilient and aware through this experience?
It doesn’t matter where you have come from, or where you were headed. This is your opportunity to take a turn, and alter the next chapter of your story. The younger generations are relying on us to reshape our world and free them of some of the burdens.
There’s never been a better time to… Stop Trying — Start Being
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please stay safe. If you want to hear more from me, please like my ‘Lisa Benson Author’ page on Facebook or follow me (lisabensonauthor) on Instagram.