Digging into work yesterday I received a text from a client updating me on their status and letting me know that she, her team, and their healthcare organization (a hospital right on the frontlines in a highly affected area) were doing okay. I read the text and burst into tears. Gratitude and relief.
My mom called me last night to check in. She's sheltering in home away from her kids and grand babies. My sister had brought her dinner and a conversation with grand babies "through her window." Homesickness, heartache, amusement, delight.
Last week I watched multiple COVID-19 task force briefings at the White House relaying virus findings, infection and death rates, unemployment and PPP stats, and updates of delays on stimulus checks, all mixed with news reports of overwhelmed health care workers, people waiting in line for food, and a woman running out of insulin. Frustration, sadness, helplessness, anger, fear, grief.
Yesterday I heard more heart-full stories of people delivering food and groceries to neighbors and elders, first responders continue to celebrate each other at 7 pm, Shake Shack just gave back their PPP, and John Krasinski continues to broadcast @SomeGoodNews and just hosted prom for all the high school seniors in the world. Awe, hope, delight, amusement, gratitude, inspiration, happy tears, excitement, peace.
There is a lot going on right now. We’re experiencing this pandemic in our own ways --individually and together.
The emotions are abundant -- the range of them, wide.
It’s easy to skip through them or avoid them all together (alcohol sales are up something fierce), however, what’s become clear to me in talking with people and noticing my own experience, is how essential it is for us to “show up” right now by showing up for ourselves and each other emotionally as we move through it.
This moment and the emotions of it are not something we can move around or over or under or avoid all together -- not if we're going to grow from it, be honest in it, and get the learning and expansion that can come from it on the other side.
So, inquiries for you today, if you wish:
- How are you being aware of, and in relationship with, your emotions?
- How are you allowing for them and being in them and with them, vs. distracting, distancing, numbing, or voiding them?
- If you are distracting, distancing, numbing, or voiding -- how? How are you avoiding -- or even abandoning -- yourself in this moment? Just notice it and recognize how. There is wisdom in this awareness. Partner with it.
- Wherever you're at in your experience, how might you stop to honor yourself, your emotions, and your needs more fully right now?
- What do you need? What's the biggest way you could honor YOU right now to set yourself up as best possible to move through this? (And if "biggest" feels too big, what's the littlest way?)
- With all of this (a slight right turn here as it all works together), how are you honoring, and holding space for, the emotions and reactions of others (even if they are wildly different than your own)?
- Finally, a practice I find highly useful in times of grief, uncertainty, and/or stuckness:
- Who have you reached out to today to connect with, or check on, if even for a moment?
- Who have you expressed appreciation for or acknowledged who they’re being in this moment?
- Where are you so self-focused that you’re not considering people outside yourself? Where can you be more generous in your attention? (Hint: this is one of the #1 reasons people get stuck -- self-focus.)
- What are you grateful for? Who are you grateful for?
- How is this situation (in this case, this pandemic) a gift for you?
These queries all have the ability to bring you “back to yourself,” to help set perspective, and to move you forward in new ways.
Any emotion or strong response (to anything) is an opportunity for curiosity, care, and learning.
All emotions deserve their experience. They deserve attention.
The invitation is to be conscious of the emotional and mental toll this is all taking. And to tend to ourselves and each other. Now.
We will get through this. We are getting through this. The more awake we are moving through it, the more we will gain.
Stay safe, be well, love big.
Note: Want support right now on any of this? We're running a CONTAGIOUS YOU book club where we dig into the content of the book and tie it to what's happening right now. If you'd like to get in, email a copy of your receipt of the book to firstname.lastname@example.org. (The live 6-week club is free and runs through 5/4, after that we'll make it a part of our Discussion Guide product.)