This is something I know how to do
I know our individual and collective responses to the pandemic and the lockdown are going to keep changing. Never has the Buddhist existential truth of impermanence been more apparent, or the need to lean into non-attachment and uncertainty…
But in the last two weeks, something has struck, moved and also tickled me as I’ve worked with my clients (and myself) to explore what this extraordinary situation is bringing up for us.
Some of my most anxiety-prone clients have learned, like me, (one fingernail at a time) to reassure themselves/their nervous systems that “all is well”, that there is no crisis. We’ve deployed a combination of physiological self-soothing with cognitive challenging, or mindful awareness, or radical acceptance practices, to “manage”.
And whilst it’s not true for everyone I know who lives with anxiety, many of us have been surprised to experience something perhaps akin to finally being in the eye of the cyclone.
Many of us were forged in crisis, and now that a real crisis is here, many of us have heard the inner murmur, or even the inner and “thank eff for that” rebel yell – “THIS?! THIS I know how to do. Step aside, coming through, I’m a bloody crisis ROCKstar”
Today I want to refrain from saying anything particularly “therapeutic” about how sad that is for us or how we still need to learn to down-regulate, or how it’s not good for us to be in a heightened state of alarm. And anyway, the whole point is that I’m not sure we (the folks this blog is about) ARE in a heightened state of alarm. Like I said, it feels like the eye of the cyclone.
Rather, what I want to say is “Fill your boots, friends”.
Maybe this is our time.
Maybe we were born for this.
Maybe we are stepping into a moment in our lives where we can thrive better than the so-called-normal-people who we normally feel handicapped in comparison with. Ever pushing the Sisyphean rock up the neverending hillside of Cope.
Maybe we have something other people don’t have – a setting which means we are most at ease when all around us are losing their heads, their nerve and their liberty.
This, this we know how to do.