Lately, I've been pondering my experience during this lockdown - how I relate to it, are there any lessons I've learned from it, did it reveal any interesting patterns of my mind? I thought I'd share it with you in case your experience has been similar.
What stands out to me is that this period was - and still is - full of contradictions:
how time can go fast and slow at the same time
how we can both want and fear for the lockdown to end
how we can miss the way things were and not actually want them to go back to what they were
how we can enjoy working from home, but regret that it's making our weekends feel less special
how we feel so up and down from one moment to another, yet also quite dull and flat on the whole
how it reminds us of what matters most, but also makes us more easily triggered by small things
how we are afraid of change, yet see that change and variety are what make life colourful and enjoyable
how our happiness lives in the present, but not being able to plan for our future is disconnecting
Do you recognise some of these contradictions? Are there any you would add to the list? From talking to my friends and family, it looks that I'm not alone feeling this way.
What I'm noticing as well is how much we don't like feeling conflicted. We don't think that things can co-exist and want them to be binary - either this or that, so we would know where we stand.
When both are present, we struggle to make sense of it and to add to our confusion, we often judge and feel guilty about what we're experiencing.
For example when we feel bad.
Then we feel bad for feeling bad.
Has that ever worked out for anyone? My mind really wants to believe that it does, but I know it doesn't help. It's just salt in the wound.
In moments of confusion, difficulty, internal chaos, and conflicting feelings, what helps is to be gentle with ourselves. Let me confess straightaway, it's much easier said than done, but I'm hopeful that with time and practise, kindness can become my go-to response when I struggle.
So yogi, apologies for a somewhat confusing newsletter. But in a confusing time, we have confusing feelings and thoughts, don't we? They don't always have to make sense or be rational. And that's okay.
Let them come, let them be, let them go.