How has the week treated you? Have you been able to receive and give what you need? I'm finding that if an imbalance arises, it’s easy to detect what we are missing. Although it’s easy to overlook that we have as big a need to give as to receive. Giving validates a sense of purpose and connection.
This pandemic has been extra hard on the relationships closest to us. As we are all strained and drained, there is less energy and enthusiasm to share. The more we recognize our needs, the more we tend to look at our partners for ease and comfort, but they may not be there. They are in a similar position, even if it displays differently. It’s easy when feeling this groundlessness to succumb to resentment and bitterness to their absence, whether their absence is physical, emotional or both.
I can speak of this firsthand as someone who has been separated from her partner since September 1st by travel restrictions. The more people I talk to about navigating close relations in difficult times, the more I am hearing how widespread this dilemma is, even for couples and families living under one roof or in close proximity. The truth is as social creatures, we have been starved from intimate connection, and this takes its toll. Even if we are in stable and loving relationships, chances are, we are working with less energy in our well. Navigating through these times demands more than we have. When both parties need more and can give less, how can we manage that?
As a Scorpio, I am very aware of my instinct to sting as a natural defence mechanism. Fortunately it is something I’ve worked with my entire life and with years of mindfulness practice, I can usually coil it in with a metta (loving kindness) practice. Sometimes seeing this instinct in action can spark humour and enable me to remedy the poison quickly. Sometimes the awareness shows me I have a long way to go.
When I think of the challenges of love through a pandemic, my heart magnifies even more for all those families that have struggled to ever feel truly supported, seen and loved in normal times.
The one thing that I am coming to know, is we need to get unstuck from ruminating on what’s not working, when most of it is out of our control. Sensations of disturbed emotions are best dealt with by putting heart into our aperture. It's important not to deny our emotions, yet hear them with an ear of kindness, inward and outward and not be quick to react.
Sometimes I’ll wake up at 4am and lay in bed for hours dwelling on circumstances until I feel raw and have become attached to possible outcomes. Well, we all know how well that serves us. Indeed.. not at all. Take three deep breaths G, let it all go, get up, buck up. There are 1440 minutes to the new day and love is a verb. How great is that? This is my morning mantra these days and it works.
If we imagine that almost everyone is experiencing some degree of pandemic burnout, it’s easier to flex our compassion muscle and relax into the simple goodness that is around us, no matter what. Nature, the sun, meditation, yoga, qigong, the arts, practicing deep listening, walk with your anger, laugh with a friend. Whatever can bring joy into the present moment. This is everyone’s birthright. Getting unstuck is a call to action, not a reaction. It can fill this moment with our deserved presence and remains a mindful practice that will never let us down.
Take three deep breaths, let everything go that isn't serving you, get up, buck up. There are 1440 minutes to the new day and love is a verb. How great is that?