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February 19, 2021

What to Remember when you’ve Hit the Pandemic Wall.

It’s been about 11 months since the first lockdown orders were announced here in the United States.

A year ago, none of us knew what we were in for. Sure, we may have been aware that the virus was spreading, but would it really affect our daily lives?

Then March hit and we came to realize that yes, it would, and it would affect every single detail of how we learn, cope, parent, nurture, love, fight, endure, grow, prosper, work, live, create, and breathe…literally.

I feel spent. I feel exhausted. I feel like crying most days and melting into a big pile of goo. I feel angry and sad at the same time. I feel lonely one minute and like being left alone the next. I feel confused, depleted, sucked dry, and helpless. I feel so f*cking lost most days, like I’m reliving my 20s all over again.

This morning over coffee (the one thing that has remained consistent), I remembered something my spiritual teacher told me a few months into lockdown: that what most people are stressing about is their perceived loss of control—but control is an illusion anyway.

There it is. Control. The one thing we always want but can never quite hold onto.

I’m an abuse survivor. Anyone in the same boat knows how much control is a factor in how safe we feel or don’t feel in a situation. If we can’t control our abuser, we learn to control our diet, our looks, our careers, our words, and our other relationships—just to feel safe and secure.

Since last year, our control trigger has been tripped and most folks (myself included) find themselves grappling for something that feels safe and sturdy.

No wonder we are so tired.

I realized this morning that I have no control, except in how I respond. I have no control, except in how often I remind myself to surrender. I have no control, except in how I decide to show up, even if that looks different than the pre-Covid days.

Let’s make a pact, shall we? Let’s be more compassionate to ourselves through this. Let’s remember this will pass and that life works in cycles. Let’s try to trust even if it’s only a little, tiny bit. Let’s surrender as much as possible and let the Universe help us.

I saw a post on social media the other day I know will hit home for many: a mom was pondering the future when her kids would be grown and out of the house. She knew that when that day came, she would crave being in lockdown at home with her two- and five-year-old kids, hearing them laugh and play. She said she had a new perspective on the fact that there are gifts within this challenging time.

This time has been one of the worst rides at the theme park—the paint is cracking, the tracks look questionable, and the operator is probably stoned.

But, it’s been the most important ride, too. Why? Because it has woken us up.

It shook us from our slumber. It forced a new hand, a new way, a new idea. It showed us just how resilient and strong we are. It broke us down in order to build us back up.

We will never ever be the same—and that’s a good thing.
~

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