Most of us can honestly say we’ve never been in a situation quite like this. It’s scary. It’s confusing. It’s difficult. It’s annoying. I’m tired of being so meticulous about washing my hands. I know that sounds childish. I mean some people in the world don’t even have soap. Am I really complaining about this?
This past week, I hit a breaking point. I had been struggling with depression early in the week. Then, on Wednesday, right after lunch, I literally crashed on the bed. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t move. I was just wiped out.
Later that day, I texted my boss, “I think I need to take a couple of mental health days.”
He immediately called. Teary-eyed, I shared how heartbroken I’ve been. I don’t know when I’m going to visit my kids and those grandbabies again. Three thousand miles never felt so far.
He shared something interesting. The admin team met that morning. They’ve been having regular meetings since this whole thing began. The topic of the day? Everyone seems to be reaching a breaking point. Maybe there’s something about 60 days. Hearing this helped me feel less alone.
It also helped to take a whole day off Thursday.
It wasn’t necessarily easy. I decided to allow myself to be exactly how I was (even though how I was — depressed, sad, confused, desperate — didn’t feel very good).
And, again, compared with what a lot of people are going through, my personal struggles seem rather trivial. Sometimes, though, we need to meet ourselves where we are. I think it’s fair to say we’re all struggling on many levels. We have our breaking points. Minimizing our pain isn’t helpful.
If you’re hitting that 60 day breaking point, I encourage you to be gentle with yourself. A day of quiet and restorative self-care works wonders. Digging deep into that place where trust in divine providence abides was helpful for me.
If you follow Richard Rohr’s daily meditations, you’ll know that last week he was talking about Julian of Norwich. As he shared from Episcopal priest and scholar, Mary Earle, Julian lived at a time of political upheaval, incessant wars, and sweeping epidemics. Norwich, England was struck viciously by a plague known as the Black Death. At its peak in the late 1340s, it killed approximately three-fourths of the population.
Yet, Julian famously writes from a place of deep trust:
All will be well and all will be well and every kind of thing shall be well.Julian of Norwich
What a mantra.
By Friday, I was ready to stop feeling so sorry for myself. Yes, the pain of separation is excruciating, but my loved ones are safe and well. I am safe and well. I know that’s huge. In fact, it’s everything.
I think this is a time when we need to both allow ourselves to feel what we’re feeling and continually count our blessings. We should never under estimate the transformative power of a prayerful attitude. I’m just so grateful for Zoom and all the wonderful ways we can still connect with each other right now.
We at Contemplative Light wish to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone in this community. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to support you at this time.
Your friend on the path,