When I have no other word to describe the rush of emotions and feelings that tend to overcome me at times throughout the day, do I even know what I am feeling?
They often ebb and flow all too frequently and I am led to one word. One word that encompasses all and much more at the same time:
All of this is heavy, I feel consumed in the heaviness of it all. Not by the media, I don’t get wrapped too much into that. But, for the sake of humanity.
This is heavy.
This is real.
And, this is not going away any time soon.
Recently, my husband and I thought it best to not join a neighborhood gathering although social distancing was being practiced and all parties stood at least six feet apart. Instead, we hung out in our own driveway and waved from afar.
Does this make us better?
Will six feet soon not be enough?
I personally think we are already there.
However, we did participate in a recently frowned upon #frontporchproject.
This particular project is when a photographer comes and takes some pictures of your family at your front porch at no cost only asking you to donate to a cause, which we gave to Foodshare of Connecticut. During our mini-session, our photographer was at the minimum, 15 feet away.
But is this enough?
I thought about doing the photos with masks on quite honestly to take a stand on the importance of where our nation is headed, but we didn’t.
Instead, this moment was one in which smiles were captured on the faces of children who don’t even have the mental capacity to comprehend what is going on, because let’s be real…as adults, we don’t either.
So, in those 12 minutes, unfiltered and authentic smiles graced our faces. We embraced each other tight and in a brief moment, we allowed ourselves to just be. We are in this together and together we laughed (especially when our dog, Vegas decided to face the wrong way for the photo) and we found an invaluable mindful minute.
To listen to the sounds of nature as the wind blew or the chirping of the birds as they flew by allowed each of us to be mindful. We embraced that moment in time and if nothing else…we owned it.
Through this experience, I am brought back to the MBSR course I completed recently and how important these tools are, especially during times like this. Breathwork and meditation allows us to release some of this (call it what you will—stress, worry, uncertainty, tension or any feeling you may be having) and we must allow ourselves to feel the feelings and when our thoughts come back (they will and we will acknowledge), we then redirect to our breath. We can continue to do this over and over until we feel we have made progress and perhaps even lifted a small amount of what we may have been holding in our space.
Times like these lead us back to where we were before this little sliver of mindfulness. That place is still in our head, but before we head back to overthink and overanalyze and overthink and overanalyze more—breathe, find stillness, a sense of calm, and hold onto that sense of comfort.
Because the thoughts will inevitably return.
When I was at the grocery store last week, was I far enough from the other shoppers?
When my kids were doing their work, did they need more help?
What’s for dinner?
When will this not be our norm?
What is enough?
When will anything be enough for everyone to wake up?
For everyone to do what they’re supposed to do?
And for it to still feel like it’s…
For this reason…it’s heavy.
It will continue to be heavy and it will continue to be a lot, but here’s the thing that isn’t fun to talk about, people are really sick and people are dying every day. And still, there are people who don’t think this is that serious.
So, if you are home by yourself or with your family and healthy, embrace that. You may feel that you want to get out, get back to your “regular/everyday” life. Newsflash, what was your regular life before this is long gone. The new norm will approach us when we get through this, but we have a way to go.
So, find your favorite spot in your house, make it yours, and begin to find comfort in knowing that it’s okay to feel the heaviness of it all. Feel, embrace, breathe, feel, cry, embrace, breathe—own it.
We are all human.