On the Coast #55+ – May/June 2020
Well hasn’t life and love changed over the last few months?
With the COVID-19 global pandemic our world will never be the same again. The individual and collective grief and losses are too many and too painful to inventory fully – death, financial collapse, loss of freedoms to name but a few biggies – and the universal experience has been the separation from family, friends and loved ones and social isolation.
In our COVID-19 isolation and social distancing, we’ve felt the ache for hugs and the comforting presence of loved ones. For those not sharing a home with family, living alone has taken on an even heightened sense of deprivation and separation.
For many of us usually distracted by the general busyness of work and family, we have now been ‘gifted’ an insight into the lifestyle of some of the elderly and incapacitated on the outer edges of society – the monotony, boredom and loneliness.
With everything else stripped back to essentials we can see now with new clarity the importance of our relationships and emotional life and a new compassion and care has been activated.
Whilst for some the rest, pause and quiet intimacies of isolation have brought many silver linings and sweet moments, these bright spots are not the complete picture. We’ve all seen the gorgeous displays of Good Samaritan generosity, the uptake of video technology to connect and share the love among friends and family; the creative explorations into the arts and crafts that bring delight, wonder and beauty; but without choice or a certain end in sight, there is also a palpable grief, unease, anxiety and even anger that is brewing and building.
These are big emotions for individuals to process, let alone, whole communities.
As a species we humans do not thrive without each other. We need community, connection and collaboration. With this ‘new normal’ of isolation we are being pulled into a fresh appreciation for our friendships and family. We may now have an even deeper appreciation for our relationships, not just with our close quartered loved-ones with us in isolation, or our loved ones kept at distance from us, but also our relationship with ourselves as we ride a wild roller coaster of emotions that we now can’t avoid.
We are not only in a process of personal transformation, we are actually in a process of human evolution – a global and collective rite of passage. Will we able to maintain our shiftings from consumers to creatives, regulate rampant capitalism into something more collective, communal and fair? I hope so, but I think we need to radically upskill ourselves for the re-integration task.
We need to bring the best of ourselves to ensure the best health outcome for all; and we have seen the best of human spirit rise up with the success of social isolation and physical distancing to flatten the curve; but this must continue to be our new normal beyond isolation for us to evolve into greater and more sustained wellbeing.
Not only will we need our human intelligence to pull us through COVID-19 (yes, science and technology are definitely the key hopes to leap up forwards and save us) but also, just as importantly, we need an increased emotional intelligence and elite level relationship skills to steady us, guide us and lead us in the right direction both during our isolation experience as well as afterwards as we re-emerge and re-build.
For now, all our usual distractions, addictions, avoidances and repressions are unravelling right now. I know the cracks are showing. It is hard to envision solutions and create a better future if we are consumed with fear, anger, grief and confusion. Nothing good and sustainable can come from that.
We can’t leapfrog out of our COVID-19 chrysalis and ignore these big feelings without a bit of ‘work’. The only way I know how to do that is to get real with our emotions – feel them, use them and learn WITH them.
Emotions are our journeymen into transformation…..e-motions….they literally move us! We cannot transform anew if we don’t know who we are, if we are not conscious. It is just not possible. We cannot traverse the portal, emerge from the chrysalis, and become ANEW, if we don’t have a real reference point, acceptance and conscious compassion to who we are NOW.
Our emotions WANT to flow and work WITH us. They want to help us. Let them help you.
- We need to name and acknowledge them.
- Sit with them and feel through them.
- We need to ask that emotion, what positive intelligence and information it has for us, so we can release it and course correct ourselves back to centre?
For example, one of the feelings very real for everyone right now is grief and sadness as we are process so many losses on so many levels.
When we let grief and sadness have their natural flow they fulfil an important job; their job is to help us LET GO. Their job is to prepare us for rejuvenation and new life. If you are feeling sadness and grief, lean into the feelings and the loss bravely; acknowledge what is lost and no more; give thanks for what you had; assess what is now open to you to create and move into anew.
Feelings move us, literally. There is only one direction life goes and that is forwards. Trust into that and let your feelings be safely felt and allow them to prepare and soften you and move you gently through into our new future.
On the other side of them is hope, renewal, inspiration and creativity. Just the things we are going to need.
Sarah Tolmie assists people to celebrate, navigate, grow and heal through all their life & love transitions. Her practice focuses on love & relationships, families & children; life success & fulfilment, illness, death & grief. As an Holistic Celebrant Sarah creates profound and meaningful ceremonies for all life & love events. Sarah is also a Marriage Therapist, Bespoke Funeral Director and End-of-Life Consultant. You can visit her website www.sarahtolmie.com.au and Facebook page at Sarah Tolmie – Life & Love.