Updated: May 13, 2020
"Whether you’re alone, or with others in this seclusion, we have all had normalcy taken away and we all just hope for well-being of the world and others. This collective energy is powerful, but it starts inside us."
In my first Isolation 101 article I talked about one of the positive by-products of isolation -- the benefit of decompressing. Unfortunately, getting to that stage is hella hard. I think whenever we encounter change it is difficult. Isolation can be caused by so many things and it can be physical, emotion or both. To me isolation is the absence of normalcy.
When my work events end each summer, I experience what I call 'event lag.' Things come to halt and there is a strangeness to losing all that energy. I envision it like a meteor burning as it enters the earth’s atmosphere. It is hot and fiery and feels bad. Once we/it stops there are lessons and beauty in the pause. We can find everything we need in the silence; in the void. It’s like returning to our origin story-where we are suspended and supported by love. We can be content with just our own heartbeat. There’s an opportunity right now to go inward. Whether you’re alone, or with others in this seclusion, we have all had normalcy taken away and we all just hope for well-being of the world and others. This collective energy is powerful, but it starts inside us.
One of the things I have done to truly decompress, on multiple occasions, is to take a complete break from social media for weeks at a time. I found I did miss some news that is communicated there, but it was also a lesson to make sure I connected with people in real time. We can’t rely on others to see our posts and, not everyone is online. We also can’t assume what we see is the complete picture, or even a fair representation of reality. We need to stay connected in other way and be present, even in this time of distancing.
The few times in my life I have experienced isolation, it has usually been a large upset in the force, not just a minor blip. Friends of mine who have experienced critical illness,or loss of a loved one have told me they felt a lot of people exited their life when they were struggling most. I do not think others intend to cause more pain, but rather that most people just don’t know what to say or do, so they say and do nothing. If this situation teaches us anything, it should be a lesson that we truly need each other.
We need friends, family, co-workers, human contact, hugs, kind words and encouragement. It is in the hardest times we need people most, yet in those times we often feel the most alone. So, what do we do? Ask people how they are doing. Say you are thinking of them; that you are there for them, care about them and love them. Even if you can’t do anything tangible, or you think it is insignificant, I assure you it is not. You don’t have to ride in on a white horse to save anyone to be helpful – just be present.
I know we are all experiencing this shift right now and we are all struggling, but I also feel we can be there for each other even if we are also struggling. We all understand how this feels, so there is community and camaraderie in that. It is a universal empathy machine. It will do nobody any good to remove our good intentions and energy from the people we care about. It doesn’t mean you have to be there 24/7 either, that is not realistic. You have to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, and if that is the case, just try to communicate that to the people in your life. They will understand.
Doing your best is enough.
We are coping one minute, one hour, one day, and one step at time a right now, but we are truly in this together.