Today I had my first-morning walk in the streets surrounding our home since lockdown was announced here in New Zealand.
Our prime minister, Jacinda Adern, has let us know that walking is allowed during isolation. However, we are to keep our distance from people. We’ve been told to stay at least two metres away and not to chat or congregate when outdoors. It is absolutely vital that we do so.
However, on my morning walk, as I walked past strangers that I would typically smile and interact with, they instead stepped off the footpath to give me a wide-birth. For me, this brought back memories of my early primary school years when I was new to a small school of only fifty students, many whose parents had attended the same primary school.
Opening Old Wounds - Emotional 'Cracks'
The kids at school used to say I had ‘Tansy germs'. They would play games that were about not catching ‘Tansy germs’.
For example, if I sat on a bench to eat my lunch, the other kids would jump up so they wouldn’t be ‘contaminated.’ Another game they played, was in the courtyard where there were slabs of concrete. The game was to not stand on the same slab of concrete as me. It involved either jumping on a crack or an adjoining slab to avoid my germs. There were many other similar games, and that year of school was probably the hardest and most isolating of my entire life.
Through this, I learnt to be independent and to do my own thing – set my own projects and challenges – which continue to serve me to this day.
However, this morning I realised on my walk that there is still a wound there – a small crack – which I felt through the emotions that arose within me as I passed people on my walk.
Allowing Your Emotions
It made me think of all the emotional ‘cracks’ that may be opening for people all around the world as we go through this time of uncertainty, anxiety and stress. Emotional ‘cracks’ may open around fears for our health, fear of losing loved ones, fear of financial insecurity, fear of job uncertainty, fear of isolation and loneliness.
I wanted to raise this today to remind us all that it is okay to feel the emotions we do right now, and that there may be more to your feelings than the current circumstances. Be easy on yourself and give yourself space for the emotions to arise, without the pressure to achieve anything right now. Prioritise self-care, relaxation and doing activities that bring you joy and into a state of flow – that is, help you to get out of your head where all the what-ifs, maybes and who-knows reside.
Wishing you all so much love right now.