Normally I would suggest that spending quality time in isolation is a perfect way to meditate and reflect on our lives, etc., but there is too much at stake here for flippancy, and I doubt that many would see this period of time as advantageous for much of anything.
I will say that if you do meditate regularly that’s a great benefit to you since you are used to controlling your thoughts and breathing over whatever might be happening around you; but for those who are trying to learn meditation now because you may have this extra time to do so and it would be nice to have something that eased your anxiety over our collective situation, then you may experience a mild challenge in slowing your breath and pulse rate, or in clearing your head of worrisome thoughts. Soothing tunes might help, and definitely shutting off the non-stop, news shows are recommended.
Perhaps this isolation period could be a time for more intense journaling to get the worst of your inner fears out of your head and onto the paper under your hand. There is something cathartic about channeling raw emotions from your deepest recesses out through a kinetic medium like handwriting that triggers a release of those stifled memories. It really helps give voice to the hidden part of you that many call “the inner child”. And that frightened “inner child” is often fearful for a very good reason.
It’s been quite awhile since I last read John Bradshaw’s HOMECOMING: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child, but that book is a good starting point to better understanding why we presently react with such overt fear over any situation that logically should not affect us quite so severely. He suggests we might better understand this sudden, present-day eruption of emotion by becoming more aware of how we could be emotionally stuck at the earliest-stages of our life due to childhood trauma.
Bradshaw even describes some visualization techniques for supporting and reclaiming that scared or wounded child that you may have once been. Shamans would call that process similar to the ‘retrieval of lost soul parts’ but it doesn’t matter what you call the technique. It only matters what works to help you become more whole again—more solid—more stable in your body—more sure of yourself—more confident that you can handle whatever you need to handle. That’s the purpose for doing it.
In fact the entire point of self-healing is to become WHOLE again—to become all that you once had the potential to be; and it can take some serious inner work to rebuild your once-promising ‘potential-self’ that might have been emotionally damaged by others when you were just a defenseless, dependent child.
There are NO good reasons for hurting a child. Sometimes children are simply the easiest or most opportune targets for venting an adult’s pent-up frustrations and life-dissatisfaction issues. It’s a sad reality that many know firsthand. And times like the present where there is so much fear and insecurity in the collective, may actually ignite an old, smoldering, childhood wound that surfaces once again looking for more ‘fear’ oxygen to burn anew.
If you are experiencing something along those lines, it’s okay to feel whatever you are feeling. Sometimes old fears rise up fresh and strong to allow us to more closely examine why they exist in us at all.
So if this time of turmoil and uncertainty is making for sleepless nights, just get the old journal out and start scribbling away on whatever is foremost in your mind—all the anxiety, all the sadness—all the feelings of abandonment and betrayal that you once felt to your core that are likely being triggered now. And since there was no prior outlet for you to vent that pain, you simply stuffed it down deeper inside. So let it ALL out now—let it pour out of your pen into that journal—writing page after page—tracing memory after memory as they arise.
Once you get it out of your head and onto that paper as actual evidence of your once having been wronged or mistreated or ignored or abused in any way, then it will be that much easier the next night to close your eyes and feel some sense of relief over those memories expulsions from that part of your mind where you had so deeply buried them.
And seriously, no matter where you are right now, it’s okay to feel scared. It’s okay to be upset or emotional. It’s okay to be confused and anxious and wishing for a better day ahead rather than what you are currently experiencing. Those are honest emotions, and we should recognize them for what they are and how powerful they can be when they do affect us. It’s far better to acknowledge that they exist within us, than to pretend that they don’t. You can better deal with them when you can recognize that you’re being affected by them.
It’s OKAY to feel unsure or anxious or frightened about what is happening to you and to those you care most about, because you are doing your very best right now in your own way to simply deal with whatever you are facing. We all handle situations differently, and for certain we all want to get through this rough patch in our lives as quickly and as easily as possible for each of us. And while I doubt that it will be a quick and easy recovery by any standard, I do know that it is very likely for us to recover intact and restart our lives again.
Of course we all may want our lives to return to the normalcy we once knew a few months ago, but for a little awhile longer THIS is our current normal, and we must learn to adapt and accept the present challenges that we may face. We learn, we adapt, and we grow through the discomforts faced in the learning phase.
So to the best of our ability we do what we need to do and we keep our focus on moving forward toward a better day ahead, whenever that day might be. We’ll get through this. There is no doubt about that.
What was that stupid slogan I mentioned in a previous post? “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.”
Hmm, yeah, it didn’t sound any better used here, did it.
Sorry. Hang in there!