Dear Lockdown, Thank You.
My gratitude began as I imagined the smell of a permanent marker strike against a calendar; a memory evoked from childhood. Another day. Another week. Another month. Looking out at my surroundings, I was amidst an indoor galaxy of mismatched rented furniture, none of which I could call my own. The months were caging themselves and I wondered how it could be that I contracted so effortlessly into hibernation, even though the summer days lengthened before my eyes.
The same eyes continued to moisten, replaying a homemade movie reel of all that was behind me in introspection as I ‘locked down’. I was not just streaming another re run of my story, but I had lived it and I had no choice other than to surrender into it with gratitude. I was grateful that lockdown revealed the strength that I thought I did not encompass. It was about being locked into a space that I broke free from. It showed my limitless capacity to hold the space for all that I needed to. It revealed that I too could have a miraculous moment of surrender.
It was because of my introspection, I had learnt to fall in love with the peace before my storm, not the other way around. I learnt a way to uncover the heavy pit of thoughts and discovered they were not bottomless. The same thoughts that gathered in my mind, just as those freckled star-lit skies I yearned for, but mine had hope now. As I looked upon my own night’s sky within, there were parts of myself that felt scattered from each other. I began to align them by finding small steps that connected me to spaces of joy each day upon waking. I remembered, in that moment anything I wanted was only accessible as long as I did not force it out of impatience. I stopped forcing myself from being in a different space, time or outside of who I was. My past was not going to change, yet I held the power within me to alter who I could become from my experiences. I had to accept the influences they had on my life and flow with them, not against them.
It was within three weeks of each other, I was given redundancy, my father was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and I had left another Narcissistic relationship. The family I did have, did not talk to one another. Introspection was all I had left so I showed up because I had to. It guided me to the entirety of the who, what, and why I needed to create the life that I do for myself. In that moment, I needed joy, peace and the compassion that I was reaching for externally. I had allowed myself to slip far into the cracks of my fear; greased by my own means. I spent great lengths focusing on all I did not wish to see, missing out on the depth of who I was – Only now I can see the great loss of it all.
It was only by unravelling my emotion toward lockdown, I understood my coping mechanisms. In needing to control my life and not live it. By releasing the notion I ever had any control on life to begin with, was where I felt less ‘locked down’.
I never understood until that moment why we had to experience chaos. Having my share of trauma and knowing that there most likely will be more, gave me peace. These words were said with awareness not with preparation. I discovered that experiences are all to test one’s faith, which in fact was to find love for the self. I was so blindsided by various spiritual practices and I used whatever I could to mask it as my ‘remedy’. The truth; I always found myself in full circle again. I discovered through persistence, in the most grounded and compassionate way that I can always create this for myself.
I dove deep and discovered all that I had and had not accomplished, yet still with familiarity, with my unkempt chaos in front of me, the beautiful truth of lockdown was I could still love myself.
This is why I am grateful. The introspection was not something I had to pretend anymore, although it would have been the easy choice. Life is not about being easy. All of the who I ‘should’ or ‘should not’ be, is not a new friend I would be forced to meet with any longer. Although, my heart was never shy of loving, anyway. The underlying truth was not to let myself be forced into anymore experiences that I was not comfortable with. It was taking power back in my own way. It was learning to go anywhere other than where I was. It was surrendering to my discomfort, and not another’s. It was surrendering to my long pause without knowing it would equate to anything at all.
The long pause, which ultimately lockdown gave to us all is yet another blow to our confidence, but not one that we cannot get up from. We cannot let it heal us, without letting it rise within us.
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