“Time is a great healer. But it is also a great disturber.”
These intriguing words were spoken to me last night, during a video chat with my friend JL. We were discussing these past two and a half weeks of alone-ness. Of distancing. Of just maybe getting to know ourselves and our circumstances a little better.
Ah yes, our circumstances. Those very things we have spent a lifetime either inventing, enjoying or avoiding. And here we are, unexpectedly forced to actually LIVE our circumstances whether we like them or not. We’re a little bit frozen. We can’t invent much new and we can’t escape what is present. If we’re very fortunate we can perhaps enjoy and be grateful for what we have.
I also had a nice chat with my pal K yesterday. I asked him how he and his partner were coping. His reply: “We’re really enjoying the break.”
WTF you might ask? The BREAK?
Yep. That’s what he called it. Because for them this forced hiatus from the “real world” is a break. An opportunity to slow down, rest, reflect, breathe, enjoy each other and NOT be consumed with the day-to-day rumblings of ordinary life.
Because there ain’t nothing ordinary about these times.
Just ask T. T is retired and single. T has no one to “enjoy” this break with except her dog. No job to go to, no colleagues to lunch with, no friends to socialize with and no children to tend to. And T is very, very lonely.
And then there’s W. W is going bat-shit stir-crazy. Because W is a go-go-go gal and when she can’t go, she’s goes nuts. She can’t go to the gym, she can’t play soccer, she can’t work her head off (even though she can work from home) and can’t escape her current relationship. The one that doesn’t much fulfill her anymore. The one she thinks she should end. The one that is now in her face full-time.
THIS is why all this isolation time is the great disturber. So much time stuck in your own reality, your own thoughts, your own house and even your own denial and yeah … you are bound to get disturbed. When our typical distractions are minimized or become non-existent there can be no avoidance. We are forced to confront our circumstances and evaluate them. We are (I hope) compelled to look towards the future with clearer eyes. What IS important? What ARE the true priorities? What WILL we do when freedom is again ours to take for granted?
There is so much interesting stuff going on right now. Skies are clearer. Waters are too. We are finding new ways to connect. We are acknowledging how importance connection is. Boundaries, whether social, economic, geographical or political are blurring. Because we are all equally susceptible to this plague. Some of us will undergo financial hardship, some will weather the storm heroically, some will suffer unbearably and some … like my pal K … will find the silver lining and enjoy the break.
The one thing I’ll put money on is this – when we come the other side, no one will be the same. No one will be unaltered. No one will simply resume.
At least this is what I hope.
No distractions. No denials. No diversions.
Disturbance can be very, very good.
I urge you to allow it. Embrace it. Make friends with it. Even in these dark times.
Who knows what incredible light is waiting at the end of the tunnel?
After a hard slap from god many of us wake up, actually take a hard look around and make wonderful logical joyful changes in our lives. Let’s hope the pandemic does that for the world. I am looking forward to some overdue changes in our world.
Amen to that, Scott.