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October 2020 Newsletter
How not to war against your human fragility and fatigue
“He who fears he will suffer already suffers because he fears”
This time of the pandemic is bringing out so much of our human weakness and having a cumulative effect on our disposition, humanity, and pain tolerance. Some of us are throwing caution to the wind and taking off masks, while others of us are hunkering down in fear ready to weather the winter storm. Whatever position or belief system you hold, chances are this pandemic is revealing more of your human fragility and your fatigue than you would like.
After suffering through the last couple years of health trials I think that for us another dimension of our real character has been revealed. I believe that’s how all suffering is -the suffering is a doorway that we can walk in and sometimes we can linger there and get lost, other times we can run out and slam the door denying the existence of suffering and not want to look back, and other times we may keep so busy filling our lives with idle chatter and endless pursuits so we don’t have to pay attention to the suffering.
Living in today’s day and age has put us in a very unique position to face our ego straight on. It is bringing out fatigue, depression, restlessness, exhaustion, and even a mindless attitude towards community and solidarity with others as we become lost in protecting whatever vestige of normalcy we can find. Because the Covid virus came 4 months before we had really reached any noticeable end in our fight for Kevin’s health, the societal change and sweeping pandemic felt like a huge metal door being slammed on us. Like suddenly we were facing a future where Kevin would be healed and better, and then instead of freedom ;we were locked inside the house facing all of the madness, the pain and the bad habits that we had built during that time of chaotic survival of the moves, and all the health battles.
This pandemic has brought out revelations for us to look at within our family structure. Ways of relating that are chaotic and painful. It has brought time to examine relationships and modes of communication and deconstruct former patterns in lieu of honesty, vulnerability, and truth in the pursuit of genuine connection. Our kids are hurting, like many kids, even struggling with existential despair; and we are forced to try to stand together in our marriage which is increasingly complex ,as we have not even had time to focus on a marriage for the last two years due to extreme survival.
It’s easy to feel shame, at least for me, in times like this. It’s easy to tell myself I should be stronger and do better and not be so fatigued. It’s easy to try to people please others, or ignore the healing that is needed in my family and pursue some sense of normal in an exterior world that is essentially battling for its survival and civic identity. But going back to a new normal is not what is being asked of us . As we continue to cling to traditions and patterns of the past and maintain the status quo we are not being realistic about how this pandemic, the challenges in this world, and our own personal challenges are asking us to face up to our fragility and our fatigue. We must decide how to operate and influence differently, more urgently, more intently. We must be present with those we love and not suppress our humanity in the meantime by sticking to status quo, or bringing division in relationships by not being willing to face up to our true selves that are being revealed. It’s time to change patterns.
I have to face up to how resentment and despair over the losses I’ve personally faced in the last years has influenced my schema, my personhood- and not try to suppress that so others find me like able and so I don’t make others uncomfortable, or God forbid cause them to wonder if I am “mad” at them. Being in that space honestly allows me to embrace my past, live in the present and reimagine a future. I need to stop demonizing and blaming myself for how I haven’t always handled everything the way I wanted, or been the mother and wife that I pushed myself to be, and stop blaming myself for the hurts that my husband and my children have. I need to face myself honestly-rather than hold tightly to an identity that will only continue a pattern of relating that has brought hurt in the first place. It really tears deeply but we must use our fragility and fatigue as a catalyst for introspection, self examination, and ultimately authentic transformation.
Let’s do better by knowing ourselves more, making real changes, and listening and paying attention to patterns that others notice in us. Most of all let’s stand in honest solidarity with the fatigue and fragility of humanity and be an echo chamber of truth and raw love. I’m up for it. Are you?