How are you? Genuinely, how are you feeling?
We’re nearing the end of our 6th week in lockdown in the UK, and although I feel content in myself, I have come to realise that I’m nervous about things returning back to how they were.
Fortunately, my family’s health has not been affected by Coronavirus, and we are all blessed to be safe and well. I am enjoying working from home and my daughters have adapted to this new way of life so smoothly that it makes me wonder how we coped before, when life passed us by at such a faster pace!
The thought of going back to the office routine, to queuing in traffic, breathing in the smog of a busy city, seeing piles of litter on every street and watching our precious wildlife retreat back to their hiding places, fills me with dread.
I am nervous about the future, about how businesses will recover, about how I will survive financially if I’m made redundant. Mostly though, I’m worried that my life will go back to being exactly how it was before.
Do I want to come out of lockdown the same way I went in?
Will everyone else be the same when we all regain our freedom?
I would like to think that this time of isolation would give people the chance to reflect on their lives, and the contribution they offer to the world. With the earth healing significantly during our absence, it is clear to see the damage we have caused both to our planet, and to each other, through greed, ignorance and egotism. Now is the perfect opportunity to make the changes in ourselves that our world desperately needs. I have felt overwhelming emotion for some of the stories I’ve read, where people have joined together as a community and supported each other through these difficult times.
My partner has talked to me about how he is discovering the value of the things he holds on to - how he used to chase money and had false illusions of wealth. His values have changed recently. He’s realising that the things that he was holding on to really weren’t that important.
The things that don’t cost money have increased in value in my household – community, connectedness, compassion, and awareness.
I haven’t had much downtime since the Government announced that we were all to stay at home and stay safe. With many of my colleagues being furloughed, I have been put under additional pressure at work, and my teenage daughters have needed loving guidance and support during their transition into home-schooling. Life has changed, but I have never been more motivated to live.
Sadly, not everyone is using this time in a positive respect.
The Sun newspaper (a daily UK tabloid), printed an article yesterday (30 April 2020) called ‘Trouble Brewing’. This small column asked its readers to “spare a thought for Britain’s vibrant community of pagans and witches. Tonight is the eve of Beltane”. Why is this national news you may ask? Well, apparently us “oddballs” would normally be “stripped off and shagging goats around an open fire” on this particular evening, but because of social distancing, we’re unable to partake in this important festival.
It’s opinions and misinformation like this which make me not want to go back to 'normality'! And don’t worry, The Pagan Federation are aware and have issued an official complaint: https://www.facebook.com/paganfederation/photos/a.992122594147914/3569193076440840/?type=3&theater)
When things that we value are taken away, or become out of our control, especially for a significant amount of time, we have two options: we can either accept and adapt to the new situation, or we can fight to get back what we have lost. If you choose to fight, think about what it is you are really fighting for.
At a time where we need to come together, where we are all in this together, some people will fight not to change. They are so shut off to the real world, that they will never discover true happiness, or their true self. These are the people who grumble about everything – when they regain their freedom, they will probably complain about queuing and traffic jams, wishing they were back at home. They will never be truly content, and I feel for them.
The rest of us will hopefully come out of isolation wiser, and more in tune with our inner selves, rather than focusing outward on the material self.
Will you be the same 'you' once the lockdown is over?