It’s such a scary, messed up time right now.
It seems more important than ever to pay attention to our emotions.
There are feelings of fear that our basic existence is under fire. There are feelings of scarcity leading to hoarding food or goods. There are feelings of guilt that you have access or money to obtain those same foods and goods when others don’t, which then leads to feelings of outrage and despair about the socioeconomic divide. There are feelings of helplessness that you cannot protect your children or family.
Yet at the same time, I have feelings of calmness and gratitude that I am sitting quietly at home with my warm drink, and with the people I love more than anything who are tempering all this with me. I’m grateful for more quality time with my teenager. I catch myself feeling like a hero as all the cooking, laundry, and cleaning is under control.
Then it’s feeling stifled and exhausted like I traveled back to the 1950s as all the cooking, laundry, and cleaning is under control. Feeling like a failure on the days I wake up and have zero motivation. Feeling frustrated because the day before I was in much better spirits. Feeling like a sloth one day when I skip the exercise, have that extra batch of cookies, and watch whatever new show is streaming (on a loop, of course).
The next day, enjoying that bike ride, then soaking up some vitamin D and watching the butterflies in the backyard. Feeling less pressure to perform as we hunker down and take a much needed time out. Feeling more pressure to perform because we have “all this time on our hands.”
The scenarios are endless, and so are the emotions that go along with them.
It’s evident that this uncertain time brings even more conflicting emotions than usual—we are all freaking out but trying to hold it together. I think the freedom comes with accepting our tumultuous feelings. Accepting we are freaking out is the key to holding it together.
You feel guilt? Perfect, that’s okay. You feel gratitude? Cool. You feel helpless? Normal, we all do sometimes. You’re feeling all those at the same time? Great! I’m glad I’m not the only one and we’re all in this together.
Check your feelings, each one of them—they are equally important. Then tell yourself that it’s perfectly okay to have them. Many times during a yoga class, I’ll encourage us to acknowledge our feelings, feel them, and accept them, so we can move on. I still stand by that, but right now, I think it’s okay if we are not ready to move on. It’s perfectly alright for us to just sit in these conflicting emotions. Definitely observe those emotions first, then radically accept them and truly know it’s okay. If you find comfort and hope in the phrase, “this too shall pass,” that’s cool, and by all means, make that your mantra. But if you can’t even see past that right now, that’s normal, and yes, you guessed it, that’s perfectly okay too.
While scrolling through social media, I saw a friend had posted this quote by Eckhart Tolle:
“Don’t look for peace. Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.”
Acceptance has been my sanity during this pandemic. May we all tap into our truth, reach out for help if we need it, and know deep down in our hearts that love connects us all.