Lessons of Isolation
These are my kids, DAY 7 of isolation. They are all smiles here, but the emotional roller coasters were no joke. As were mine and my partner's. AND, our connection was unequivocally deep.
Isolation is what they call it when you contract COVID-19 and have to stay home. And that is what happened to my family a few weeks ago. The virus slowly made its way through our household and we were isolated together for a total of 14 days. To sum up the experience in 300 words is no easy feat. The lessons that came from isolation were powerful and life-altering, to say the least.
Lessons from Isolation
- Recognizing my FEAR. And seeing how I project my inner fears from my own childhood, through the urge to control. CONTROL is my REACTION to fear. This cycle only creates more anxiety and more fear.
- Knowing my own POWER to self soothe. Once I recognized my reactions and fear, I knew I couldn’t look outward any longer to bring me peace. I needed to meditate, I needed to see myself in a different way. I needed to address my biggest fear, abandonment, and know that I can never be abandoned if I stay connected to myself.
- Relationships are HARD. Commitment, vulnerability, recognition of your own part of any conflict, and compassionate connection will set you free. This all requires finding your inner POWER to lead you toward authenticity within yourself, first. It requires recognizing your own fears (losing someone, being hurt, not being right), and letting them go because they aren’t that scary after all.
- The emotional well-being of my Family is a PRIORITY. It’s hard to think about re-entering the world with the myriad of distractions that prevent us from actually living this way. We can know this deep down that family comes first, but being in the “real” world has a way of keeping us from recognizing the EMOTIONAL well-being of our family as #1.
When we are physically ill, we are gentle and kind and nobody expects us to be anywhere. But we don’t treat our emotional fevers with the same compassion. This perspective shift is what allows us to have that compassionate connection with one another and with ourselves.
Note: Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne, is a wonderful resource for understanding how to meet our children’s emotional fevers with the same compassion we meet their physical fevers.
One final note, I had been feeling (what people are referring to as) COVID fatigue. Experiencing the virus myself and with my family has given me a new perspective on the devastating impacts this virus has on so many people.
The virus is scary, even when you are vaccinated. It was not simply a cold for us, it went through a series of stages that I am still experiencing now.
Isolating is VERY difficult. It impacted all of us, but I saw it so clearly in my young children. I was able to process so much with them, but that comes with privilege. So many people don’t have the luxury of connecting in this way and healing through illness.
I am more committed now than ever to helping end the spread of this virus, for those who are the most devastated and most vulnerable. I am compelled by compassion. I see the suffering in a different way than have before.
This week, try practicing MINDFULNESS to help you notice your reactions and see if you can connect them to an inner fear. Fear of loss, fear of not being right or heard, fear of a mess, fear of the unknown.
This week’s practice:
- Practice mindfulness (free download) a little bit every day, either in the morning, lunchtime, or evening. Practice when you are waiting for the school bus, or for an appointment.
- Start recognizing your REACTIONS, and see if you can find a fear within them.
- Breathe through it, remind yourself that this is simply fear, a thought, it is not your reality.
In the classroom & at home:
- Notice your reactions and control patterns with your kids.
- Are you not allowing them to watch tv because you are afraid that they will grow up to be lacking in some way?
- Are you instilling fear in them around not growing up to be “big and strong” if they don’t eat all of their breakfast?
- When you notice, find your own way to connect with yourself, letting go of the old conditioned patterns that led to your inner fears.