No doubt, you are one powerful creature. You managed to cage an entire country in only a few weeks time! You are a force to be reckoned with & yet, I've been wrestling with this letter to you for weeks.... I have so much to say to you - & about you - it literally hurts! But, this project really isn't about me. It's about a bridge. About bridging the gaps that prevent us from reaching our greatest potential - as individuals AND as pack mates.
Talking to you, COVID-19, helps. It helps me to peel back the layers, so as to maintain perspective; but I’m stuck - too many questions unanswered! Tell me: Have you come for a reason? A force of nature - here & now - to remind us of our place on this planet? Of natural order, itself?? Are you as dangerous as you seem? To what degree shall we work to prevent your transmission & to what end shall our lives remain on hold??
Trying to make sense of the uncertainty & the unknown, I wonder: Is this a test? A trap, maybe? Are you asking that we look closer at our very own (perhaps faulty) neurological wiring? FIGHT, FLIGHT or FREEZE; pull TOGETHER or fall APART – do you know it's in our DNA?? To what degree must we scramble to ensure, now, that we have ‘enough’? Have done ‘enough’?? Asked to keep a safe “social distance” & to evaluate our own risk factors, many worry along a similar thread: What is it that I truly need, now? Who is it that I can earnestly trust? Am I to care for others? Will others care for me??
Perhaps this is – instead – a wish granted. Is this a long sought-after opportunity for respite? The ultimate opportunity for self- & community-care?? With space & time to consider, what is it that I truly long for now that so many things have been placed on hold? Have I managed any sort of newfound appreciation in life? Newfound respect?? Am I called to tie up ‘loose ends’? To repair discord in my relationships?? When the day is done - & if you come for me – will I still wonder about my worth? Am I ‘enough’…?!?
In moments like this, as a counselor & a coach, I am reminded of the gift that is: shared humanity. I am also reminded of our perfectly imperfect human condition, which predisposes each & every one of us to a lifetime of patterned responses triggered by stress: automatic thinking, emotional reactivity & ‘negative’ habits as coping. Brené Brown, PhD. LMSW (another social worker) says, "We can do hard things." We can & will experience suffering, illness, death, & uncertainty; but we can also "rise strong" & "dare greatly." We can do hard things, but first we've got to "show-up" & "be seen". From this, I know: Ruminating in isolation is not enough.
To bridge the gaps that prevent us from knowing our true potential, we’ve got to speak-up & speak-out about our own perfectly imperfect experiences. We’ve got to show courage by disclosing the contents of our minds & of our hearts, so that we can receive empathy & gain perspective in turn. If the aim is to rise strong in your wake, we have to connect with ourselves & with each other – now – while we're in it: caught in your tide & current.s of change. After all, courage is contagious; & (as Brown says) “Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better & the world – a little braver.”
May this letter serve as an invitation – a call for courage, for authentic relation & for connection in turn; despite quarantine.! Just write. No length or content requirements. No expectations for grandiosity, critical insight or knowledge display. No signature required. Just write. From your heart & about your experience as it unfolds – this is a call for submissions. A call for contribution to this shared blog. Because together, we too are a force to be reckoned with. #Stongertogether #Neveralone. Now, let’s build bridges!
In Service & Sisterhood,
This Blog’s Manager