April 8, 2020

Letting go

Over the past few years, I have faced challenges that made me realize that I am my own worst enemy. I can wallow in my guilt and self-flagellation, which ultimately leads me towards failure. Right now, we are all (or at least most of us) teetering on the edge of the abyss of guilt. Many of you are in forced shutdown of your labors and suddenly you are “supposed” to write the great American novel, or compose a symphony, or finally learn to play that banjo. Because you have “time” you should be able to get things done. But these are not normal times, this is not just vacation time. We all have so many emotions running around our hearts and our brains, that it may make it impossible to do that big project. I say, let it go. There are articles out there that agree with me. Each of us wants to help and we want to be productive, but our hearts may be too full of other emotions that bring us back to reality. These are not normal times and you will not be doing normal things. That is Ok.

You may also being feeling guilty when you are stopped in your tracks by the beauty of a spring blossom or the way the sunlight lands on your favorite chair. Or if you laugh at a joke or with a friend on the phone. Or you just want to watch Netflix all day. These are not normal times and those things are OK.

I have noticed being touched and stunned at times by the beauty surrounding me these past weeks. This ability to see beauty stops me in my tracks, and causes my heart to overflow. This is happening regularly. I wonder why am I so moved by this beauty when there is so much pain?

Guilt is such an easy thing for so many of us to feel. Particularly now. I have come to realize that recognizing and being moved by beauty, despite, actually in spite of, the pain and grief we are feeling is what make us human. It gives us a brief respite from the overwhelming pain we feel, brings us toward feeling hope. Guilt can block this and prevent us from feeling our full spectrum of emotions. So let it go, if you can.

And remember that by staying home, you are helping the helpers, but being gentle with yourself is important too.

And remember to wash your hands

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/style/productivity-coronavirus.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/06/smarter-living/coronavirus-how-to-help-doctors-nurses.html