We are living in unprecedented times. Never in my lifetime did I expect to witness what we are now going through. I speak as a citizen of a democratic country with the gift of free speech. Anything expressed in this blog post is merely my opinion.
I’m trying to collect my thoughts and feelings in order to express them. Close to the top is grief. I have lost my ability to hug, cuddle or physically comfort my dear children. I am denied what I would previously have considered the human right of kissing my grandson. I can’t practice as a therapist or teacher. Touch is a human need, and I have devoted many years to sharing my conviction that we need to re-empower ourselves to give and receive healthy touch, within a society that has demonised it through the sad misappropriation by some individuals. I am not alone – it is the foundation of my training in both Infant Massage and Soul Midwifery. My beliefs and needs haven’t changed – my ability, along with that of millions of others, to perform or receive them has, beyond measure.
And why? Because fear stalks the land…
Families are denied families, neighbours avoid neighbours, patients shun therapists and vice versa, some shop assistants have adopted attitudes that are virtually warlike as they attempt to keep their store, their customers and themselves “safe.” What has become of us? Of course, that’s not the perception. It’s seen as the “right thing to do.” We can all carry on with this “new normal” with families communicating via remote screens, neighbours valiantly offering to help each other (which is laudable, and I hope becomes part of however we go forward as a human race) but please don’t let’s ever think this isolation is ok or ever lose the ability to hug and be hugged.
I abhor the expression “Stay safe” which is repeated ad infinitum every time a virtual conversation or email is signed off. What are you trying to tell me to stay safe from? Ultimately, death I suppose! Personally, I am not afraid of Covid-19. It’s not because I don’t believe I’m at risk of catching it – I’m fairly sure no vaccine will ever be found, and at some point we will all be exposed to it – but because even if in the worst case scenario (from a human perspective) plays out, where I catch the virus, am very ill and die, then that will be my time – we all have to leave our human body behind someday. At home we have discussed possible outcomes and have both decided that if it comes to it, we would rather stay home and die there, than to face being forced apart at the hospital door, and to be greeted with turmoil, fear and myriads of strangers dressed in blue plastic battling to save our lives. There’s an excellent article written by Kathryn Mannix (click here) which addresses these very choices most succinctly. I am neither complacent about not catching it nor resigned to doing so either – I live healthily and holistically, supporting my physical health with diet, supplements, herbalism and homeopathy, and my mental health with a refusal to buy into fear, a regular yoga and meditation practice, and a healthy dose of Mother Nature. And I accept my mortality, and talk about it, and ruminate on it, and trust in my belief that there is more to me than a body. It helps me 🙂
We are in a total “not knowing” space. No matter how much you read or hear or watch on the news, nothing is known about this virus! Every single action that has been taken has been made through fear of the unknown, and potential scenarios completed via computers. This is not life! The response to the virus is not “saving lives” – it is helping our medical services to keep the response to sickness manageable. Maybe that’s a good thing – but at what cost? That will remain to be seen, but I am already deeply saddened to witness the fallout of what is considered a sensible response by our Government. The scary thing is how much we have handed over our power to “others.” As a population it seems we want to let people make decisions for us. In the blame culture we now inhabit, responses are reactions to avoid blame in the future! Overall, people demand to be “kept safe” – hence the society we now have – totally risk averse, everyone running scared of being sued, people unable to make decisions other than those which are considered PC.
But what if there’s another way?
How about if our leaders had the courage to stand up and say “We don’t know”? How about if we began to take responsibility for our own health and wellbeing and “safety”? How about if we could truly embrace the idea that we are mortal, and actually look at what that means? No, not easy perhaps, but in my view absolutely vital. We cannot enjoy life under the current restrictions – running scared and making do with such limitations in the belief that we are protecting ourselves and others. This is all symbolic of society’s unwillingness to accept that we die.
Maybe this is a time for us all to be still (how hard we find that these days!), to (to use a common idiom) “lean in” to not knowing, to listen to our intuition and ask, “What does Spirit/Nature/the Universe/God/whatever Higher Power you choose want of me?” As the Buddha said, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
Stay sane 😊
Much love xx