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On Days, When the spirit within dries up
Image: Photo by Nicholas Selman on Unsplash

Close to two months of lockdown.

Off late, you might find that…

You are done being positive, you are done being resilient, you are done trying to hold it all together, you are done with trying to understand the virus, you are done trying to figure out when this is likely to end, you are done attending the many  online learning zoom calls and webinars, you are done connecting to loved ones, you are done being creative for yourself or to entertain your children, you are done understanding which leader is delivering and who is not, you are done watching TV series and movies, you are also done with the repetitiveness of the daily chores, you just feel done. The spirit every now and then feels dried up.

I very much have been going through this too.

We might not wish to feel this way, but then it is being felt. So, what do we do on such days?

  1. Give ourselves permission to feel the sadness fully: To feel this way is normal. To not feel this way, is not. We are in a pandemic individually and collectively. Our routine, our security, our safety, our natural way of being has all been challenged. It is impossible to sustain our spirit every single day. Imagine if birds were told they cannot fly for two months, or a fish asked not to swim for a few months. We as a species are a social being, where coming together to do work, coming together to live and interact, is our natural law. When this is arrested, it is meant to feel this way. So on days when we are feeling down and out, let us acknowledge it and give into the sadness completely. There is nothing wrong with sadness, I am beginning to understand the beauty that exists in sadness too.
  2. Give ourselves permission to be totally unproductive: Binge watch mindlessly for a day, eat only leftovers or some fast food, call a friend and rant away, or seek solitude by staying in our rooms if we don’t wish for any interaction, switch off our phones, don’t log into work one day (aren’t you allowed leaves anyway). If we aren’t in a job that involves saving lives, it’s okay to sign out for a day. Ask other family members to take over and pamper us. Most times when we allow ourselves this fully, and without guilt, we do get restored. Remember in nature, there is hibernation when the body’s metabolism cannot support the functions anymore. After a small hibernation, organisms emerge, stronger, rejuvenated and ready more than ever before.
  3. Give ourselves permission to fail/lose it all: We might not be able to hold our business together, our job together, our teams together, we might be failing or losing. We might lose all that we had built for months/years. If all your efforts isn’t able to hold the existing together, then let us give ourselves permission for it to fall. Holding on, grasping, controlling, will not pave way for new thinking that can arise when space is created for the existing to fall or fail.  In the forest, when a huge tree collapses, the space that it creates is called `Light Gap’, allowing for sunlight (photons) to enter, and bring forth to life, that which was waiting for decades, to spring to life. So, what’s been hiding within ourselves, waiting to spring forth that needs this `light gap’?
  4. Give ourselves permission to ask: I have said this before, and wish to reiterate again. To ask for advice, to ask for help, to ask for support – be it through reaching out to someone who loves you, be it through a counsellor, be it through your mentor, or through a prayer to the Higher source – any form of asking that you feel is right for your condition is a permission we need to give ourselves. These are extraordinary times emotionally, and to ask for help in all ways, big and small, is okay. In nature, mutualisms or symbiotic relationships evolved because this kind of cooperation between different organisms was essential for survival. And in nature it has been scientifically proven that cooperative relationships increase, when there is a disturbance or crisis. We are wired for interdependency. So, let us ask for support/help if needed.

The only thing that is constant in life is change.

If our spirits have dried up today, it will fill up again another day. So let us do the – feeling happy, productive, succeeding, giving, all of those, on that day.

And now, when it is low, let us give into sadness, unproductivity, failing, asking, with no guilt whatsoever.

I have been allowing myself this. For someone like me who is optimistic, positive, full of hope, allowing for this hasn’t been easy. And yet, in a situation such as this which is so different, I guess we begin to see sides of ourselves that get pushed as well, and by asking for help, I have been able to give myself permission to feel the above.

And, as always, would love to hear your thoughts; how differently are you being stretched; and how you are giving yourself permission for it all, so the rest of us can borrow, for such days.

Thank you for reading.

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