Updated: Mar 21, 2020
What a freaking time to be alive...
It's been a week since I started social distancing. School was cancelled last Friday, and this week I was on spring break... I was excited for spring break because shit's been real confronting over the last few months. I was really hopeful for this time, and gave myself permission to just be still...staying home over this week has given me time to recognize and work through the different feelings that have been coming up (shoutout to amethyst, rose quartz, black obsidian, and all the other crystals I've been laid up in).
I learned this week how much I value and NEED solitude. I am surprised and a bit conflicted about how happy I am to not have to "people" all the damn time. I am reminded of just how overstimulating life can be, and how important it is to support myself by holding space, resting, creating, or working.
In this week, it's become really clear to me how important it is to be able to manage my emotions independently (side note, I miss my therapist right now lol). Conversely, I've also learned how much I feel frustrated by people who manage their emotions differently, or who unconsciously reach out to me seeking connection for the sake of processing their emotions (without respecting boundaries). Anxiety looks different for every person. Some folks have no visible reaction, some people are news-binge crazy, and others are running around with doomsday delirium. Whether corona is man-made or natural, whether it is a means of biological warfare or circumstances of poor healthcare infrastructure, seeing anxiety show up in so many ways made me grateful for the opportunity to isolate.
I do recognize how this kind of isolation can strengthen or suppress the root and heart chakra (how our bodies energetically interpret security and safety, unconditional love and support). I empathize on so many levels with how this time is providing us the space to confront the very things that we become imprisoned by (because they seem secure or comfortable). These jobs, entrepreneurial endeavors, and otherwise seemingly invincible institutions are literally yielding to Mother Earth, and we are now examining what we value/love/need.
I see how with so many secure structures crumbling or being brought to an abrupt halt, many people are seeking connection, craving comfort, and intimacy...anything to feel stable. Although these things are beautifully necessary, I think that if we are not taking the time to self-reflect, rest, and decompress from all the happenings, then these connections beyond the chaos, are not sustainable.
Someone made a remark to me about how although I prefer this solitude, there are so many people who are choosing to quarantine with their loved ones, families, and significant others. I wanted to fucking scream. I definitely recognize that my perception of what family/community looks like is not typical, however, for myself, I really feel like this time is a great time to develop individual ability to process feelings, fears, and thoughts.
This time off is teaching me more about how the primal urge to survive shows up. Folks hoarding supplies, perpetuating panic through oversharing/consuming information, some folks are seeking their tribes, and at times, disregarding really helpful boundaries. Seeing people risk exposing others because they feel invincible or better informed about the nature of what's going on definitely has me listening to my root and working through the frustration. Despite the discomfort, I know that these are instances that help me learn how to regulate my own expectations, to practice compassionate observation rather than judgment, how to recognize where I give my personal power away by feeling guilty about what my boundaries look like, and how to clarify boundaries without minimizing or invalidating other people's needs.
That remark about "quarantine bae" initially pissed me off, like I was being attacked for setting boundaries, but I realize that that's not what was happening. We all have different needs and values, and in this conversation, I saw how hurtful my isolation felt for someone else. Although I don't like not meeting others' expectations (ohhhh people pleasing/solar plexus & heart chakra), this remark gave me space me to reevaluate and explore my 2018 decision to practice solo-polyamory. I chose it, in part, because I was tired of compromising major needs for the sake of a relationship. I hated feeling like I was putting others before myself because most folks that I'd encountered through dating believe that relationships require compromise... but I digress... ultimately, solo-polyamory gave me the opportunity to be really clear about my values, needs, and desires without the societal expectations that are woven into the monogamous fabric of traditional relationships.
Somewhere along my journey, I felt imprisoned by the combination of gender assignment and the expectations of partnership/community. In 2018, I recognized that often times, my actions were not my own. I was forcing myself to be what others wanted/needed me to be, so that I would be valued or desired... This dynamic blossomed into a garden of resentment and short-lived connections that were not sustainable because I was not showing up as myself. I remember feeling so angry about feeling responsible for prioritizing everyone else's needs (at work, in family dynamics, and other interpersonal relationships) at the expense of my own. Last semester helped me understand societal/gender assignments, and how women are often expected to be nurturing and comforting to others (even grown folks who can do for themselves). It became really clear how womanhood felt burdensome because it frequently translated into doing the emotional/mental/physical labor necessary for curating safe spaces for both myself and others.
Now, with all that said, no person is an island. This time is helping me understand where and how I can share more of myself, while honoring the fact that I genuinely feel happy about this 123 reset. We are all reflections, and we are seeing just how connected we are. We do need support. Community is necessary. I hope that we all can use this time to pour into ourselves so that when we show up for each other, we are doing so in earnest. May this time of reflection help us to align with and affirm our highest good. Let this solitude serve our spirits so that we can connect from a place of honesty, clarity, and wholeness.