Since we all realized just how serious this is, I confess that I’ve had some major flashbacks to the Great Recession. That time in history turned my life upside down, and it took a decade for me and my husband to get back on truly solid ground. As I watched gigs get cancelled and realized I needed to be proactive in doing the cancelling or postponing- I also had to reckon with the financial toll this will take on my family once again. It honestly made me angry at first. We’ve worked so hard to make it past the recession crisis, and now we are staring at the possibility of another. But after staying in bed for almost a week (no joke), I finally pulled myself together. Deep breathing. Sharing with friends. Making plans. You know, all the things you may be doing too.
I thought I was doing all right. And then last night I had a dream that was filled with panic and dread. In the dream I found myself revisiting the emotions of an entirely different personal crisis I suffered years ago- not related to sickness or the recession or money. Though I won’t go into the details of the crisis, I will tell you I thought I was over it. I thought I was healed. But here I am, years later, dreaming about it.
And it just occurred to me. This pandemic could be bringing up any moment in your life during which you felt a complete loss of control. I wasn’t dreaming about that crisis because it still bothers me. I was dreaming about it because it’s another time when I just felt lost, helpless, unable to wrap my arms around the situation and establish some control.
If you find yourself revisiting past traumas that don’t seem to be connected to the pandemic at all- know that you are not alone. You are not over reacting. And you’re not regressing. You are remembering.
Allow that memory to tell you what you are capable of withstanding. Don’t just remember the pain; remember that you survived. Allow that memory to whisper, “we made it through”. You’re still here. And so am I.
We’ll get through this together.
Even though my dream started with the crisis, it ended as a musical- with friends singing to me. In the face of someone trying to make me feel insignificant, there were my friends, reminding me who I am and how much I mean to them. It was a flash mob musical. My dream started in isolation but it ended in community.
As you come to grips with the hard realities and difficult decisions and loss and grief of this season, isolate your bodies but not your emotions. Let your community into your thoughts, into your heart. Let the people who love you, remind you of who you are.
Remember who you are.
*typos exist to prove your love and grace unto me