if there’s one good thing that has come out of covid and all these endless lockdowns it’s that I have had the luxury of time, the one commodity we can never get back, I’ve used it wisely, I’ve had no choice…it’s not often that we are in a position to dedicate an enormous chunk of time to our own recovery, recovery from anything, life gets in the way, dependents need looking after, our significant others have to be considered and not forgetting that if you have a job, this also takes out a huge chunk of your personal time
When Rick died and Woody went, and then my mum, it was the first time in forever that I had really been on my own, with no-one needing anything from me, I felt adrift and at the same time guiltily liberated, unable to utilise my freedoms in the way I would have done pre-covid, I was left to sit and be quiet to allow the emotions to come up, engulf me, process them and let them go, the grieving process is a chaotic one and if left, can fester and turn into all sorts of unattractive behaviours and possibly illnesses, not just affecting you but impacting those around you
Having been absent from the UK for so long, my friend base was tiny and because I wasn’t allowed to play with anyone, it felt, at times more isolating than living abroad, but this is exactly what I needed, the few friends I had, slowly came out and gently held my hand, often daily on the phone, sometimes in person
One of the weird and wonderful things about my life since I can remember is that I have bumped into people in the strangest of places in the strangest of countries at the strangest of times, it happened so often to me that Rick called it sarah-dipity, it seems to be happening a lot again and it has made my heart sing, I’ve bumped into all sorts of people that I hadn’t had contact with for years, we’ve re-connected and walked and talked and laughed and cried, it’s been an absolute tonic for me.
Finding myself in this position of extreme loneliness and isolation has allowed me to re-think my life philosophy without a new life philosophy, I was finding everything rather pointless and nihilistic, what is right, what is wrong, what is good ? what is bad ?, asking myself daily, how should a human live ? and how do I want to live ? what is important to me ? what will I tolerate ? what won’t I tolerate ?
I’ve had to get very clear with myself about all this, because , rather than fill my life up with a load of crap I wanted to fill myself up with goodness and meaning, this is where we find peace (I believe) but it’s impossible to do if we don’t have a moral philosophy, it’s through the connection of friends and my walking in solitude that I have found just the right amount of support to allow me to feel steady enough to explore these notions…..
the thing about hand holding is, it only works if you don’t hold too tightly, with gentle occasional squeezes, the time and safety to figure stuff out on your own is left down to you, with no pushing or shoving from others just love and support in all the right places, the other fantastic thing about it, is that the hand holders don’t even know they are holding your hand (and if they do they don’t keep mentioning that that is what they are doing), it’s symbiotic and that’s how it should be, totally natural and unconscious and unconditional with love, respect and grace
for anyone that has struggled with their mental health or suffered loss of any kind, you will know that the consistency of support is the key thing, not just at the time of the crisis but after, months after, possibly even years, this is when that support is needed, do it without them knowing and don’t talk about doing it either, be authentic, be kind and be humble. It takes great strength and wisdom to do these things with grace and love, there is no honour or integrity in acts of kindness if we do them without humility
a life without humility is not a life at all…..