Ever since the lifting of mask mandates for people who are vaccinated happened, I’ve had this internal struggle.
There is a feeling in the pit of my stomach that churns these powerful emotions that I can literally feel radiating from my body.
And it’s the slow kind of anger and resentment that’s been building every day since the pandemic started. I don’t even know if it’s all my anger or stress that I’m feeling, I just know it’s there and it’s making itself heard.
It’s as if I wasn’t emotionally prepared for that announcement yet…geez, CDC—consider my feelings next time.
Sit me down on the couch, look into my eyes, gently place my hands in yours, and with slow, kind words, tell me, “Thank you so much, Lorena, for all you’ve done and that now, things are better, and it would be ever so lovely if you could adjust your entire life again.”
I mean, I’ve let a lot of anger build over time without even realizing it—anger at all the people who refused to wear masks, who didn’t follow the guidelines, and contributed toward spreading the virus.
I’ve had anger toward all the people who refused to wear their masks correctly. I am not a violent person, and I swear, I feel like throat punching anyone I see wearing their mask below their nose.
I’m confused by people who haven’t got their vaccine yet, and I am literally bewildered by people who trust conspiracy theories on the internet over actual scientists. I am beyond angry at the politicians who have made this issue political and device as opposed to a public health crisis that we could have defeated together.
I am angry that we don’t seem to care about anyone else but ourselves.
If it doesn’t appear to affect us personally, then it doesn’t matter. It repeatedly seems to be me over we. I am angry that we are selfish, stubborn, and blind to what we have done to ourselves.
So yes, I am having trouble letting go of my mask because I’m not ready to let it go. I am totally emotionally attached.
For me, it’s come to symbolize that I’m a human being that f*cking cares about other human beings—team give-a-sh*t.
And I’m not sure when I will be able to release it. Right now, I am just really struggling with having grace, empathy, and compassion. I feel judgmental and exhausted. I feel stuck in the duality of right and wrong.
And I know I am entirely stuck in my own self-made prison like I’m a hostage victim whose been saved, and my rescuers are holding the door open. They are inviting me to leave, and I’m saying, “Thank you, no, I’m still too angry about being abducted and the societal and cultural reasons that led to my abduction, so I am going to stay here until I process my feelings about it.”
That’s not where I want to be, but I also need to admit to myself that’s where I am.
I mean, I went to a yoga class this week, and no one was wearing their mask but the nice old lady who farts and me.
How was everyone else able to just let it go so easily? Putting it down does not feel like something to celebrate yet to me. If anything it freaks me out. I don’t trust it, and I feel like I’m afraid to trust people.
I’m worried most of the people who are going around mask-free aren’t even vaccinated. And I can’t be the vaccination police—thinking about it just makes me crazy—ugh.
So how do I move on?
I don’t want this anger in me. It feels like sh*t.
And I don’t want to automatically assume that everyone who doesn’t do what I want them to do is a horrible person because I know that’s not true. Everyone has their own experience and reasons for doing what they do (or don’t do), and somehow I’ve got to get to the place where I’m ready to listen and understand.
I don’t have to agree, but the world isn’t going to come together by putting more anger and division in it.
So maybe it’s coming up because I’m ready to look at it and release it. But how do I release it without yelling or attacking, or projecting? Because I feel like screaming. I feel like a cantankerous, old woman waving her cane in the air screaming, “You f*ckers!”
When do I get to the point of acceptance?
How do I get the place where I am at peace within myself that not everyone is going to choose to get vaccinated?
How do I come to peace within myself with the way things are right now in the world?
How do I learn to be still in the middle of a f*cking hurricane?
Honestly, I don’t know, and I feel confused, scared, and really, deeply disappointed in people. And I’m trying so hard not to lose the positive, joyful, optimistic part of myself. The part of me that believes that all of this is happening for a reason, and we are all on the right path and that everything is going to be okay—I’m not okay.
So how do I shift my mind, my heart to embrace more, when I am still so obviously attached to my anger and my resentments?
How do I invite a love inside me that’s big enough to hear experiences other than my own and the ones I’ve surrounded myself with? Yucky, it’s so uncomfortable!
And I know…this will eventually pass.
It’s okay that I don’t have all the answers right now. I’ve never been here before; I’ve never gone through a pandemic. None of us have, and I suppose we are all doing our best to navigate this in the ways we know.
So in the meantime, maybe I’ll just let myself feel out my anger.
Maybe I’ll write, paint, and read. Maybe I’ll walk, breathe, and go to therapy.
Maybe I’ll feel the grass on my feet and the sun on my face.
Maybe I’ll give this intense ball of energy, this emotion, up to something higher than myself.
I can only focus on what I have control over, what’s right in front of me in every moment, and hopefully, step by step, I’ll be able to leave my captor’s house, and I’ll let myself be free again.