It hasn’t been easy maneuvering each day during this Coronavirus pandemic. As someone who always feels as if she isn’t doing enough, the inability to leave my home and throw myself into endless errands and activities has turned this situation into a what has felt at times, a torture chamber.
In the beginning it was ok. The lockdown gave me new things to put my attention on; namely fear and an endless need to stay safe. Sheltering in place also relieved me of the guilt I always feel when I’m not “accomplishing” enough. It was as if the universe was saying to me, “Don’t worry…relax, you are off the hook. There isn’t one person in the world who is able to do anything right now.”
At first, the covid quarantine felt like an adventure. All of us home together, safe under one roof. Finally we had more time to do things as a family, like taking long walks with the dog, playing board games and watching all the movies we’ve been storing on the DVR for the past few years.
Unfortunately after awhile it started to feel old. I started to lose interest in things. I started feeling as if I had absolutely nothing to look forward to. Truthfully I started to feel a bit depressed, especially when it was gray and cold outside. It was as if I was stuck in an endless cycle of rainy days.
I knew these feelings all too well and I didn’t like them one bit. So what could I do to help myself? What I have always done; get off of my butt and hit my yoga mat. Meditate. Eat right. Drink less coffee. Go outside and get some sun. Write in my journal. Exercise. Talk to friends. Read. And sometimes, just do nothing.
Once again here I was facing my discomfort with standing still and coming to terms with the realization that there was nowhere to hide. My entire life has been an endless tale of trying to run away from pain. It’s taken me decades to realize that the fear of the pain is way worse than the pain itself.
In my early 20’s I read A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson and the following passage had a profound impact on me, “The real measure of practice is whether little by little, we can find our edge, that place where we’re closed down in fear, and allow ourselves to experience it. This takes courage, but courage isn’t about becoming fearless. Courage is the willingness to experience our fears. And as we experience our fears, courage grows.”
That quote hit me like a ton of bricks and throughout my life I’ve often gone back to it. One of my wounds is my intolerableness of fear. Even today there are times when I get disgusted at my moments of fear. I have always just chalked this up to being weak or simply being a loser. And I would attribute every one of my failures to the belief that God passed over me when he handed out guts. To me it was evident that this was the missing key component that separated me from successful people. Seriously? You can’t get much lower than that thought. No wonder I was depressed and afraid.
Now I see how silly this thinking is. Everyone is going to feel fear during their lives. You just need to accept it and move forward. Each time you feel afraid and are willing to experience those feelings, it makes it that much easier to do it again next time. I know this is true because I have experienced it. I encourage you to do the same.