Be Kind to My Friend
– My dear friend Melinda often ends our texting conversations by saying, “Be kind to my friend!” I love that. It’s a great reminder to me to keep my needs on the menu of choices for how I spend my time and attention. And it’s a reminder I need more than ever!
Most of us have experienced quite an array of losses due to the pandemic. We’ve had losses large and small – changes in our work, our relationships, our social lives… Loss of jobs or income, loss of our sense of security or our feeling of “rightness” in the world, losses of celebrations or anticipated travel, deaths of loved ones, and so much more. And due to the isolation needed to prevent spreading the virus, many of us are “locked in” with ourselves (and with the people closest to us). We thus find ourselves face-to-face with our “shadow;” the unprocessed hurt and anger and grief and guilt we human beings push to the side in the hustle and rush of daily living. Combine these with the excitement and power of the Black Lives Matter/racial justice movement and, for those of us who are white, our ever-deepening understanding of the oppression Black people face and our complicity in maintaining systems of racial injustice. And combine that with heightened stress levels and decision fatigue that come as we “re-open” our lives – or not...
We’re swimming in a stew of raw emotions and decisions and learning and actions all the time. It’s stressful for body, mind and spirit! And it’s not going to end any time soon.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that some of us feel things are easing up. I'm glad for that.
But for the rest of us, I have some useful thoughts to share: strategies that can help us be kind to ourselves.