On extended unease…

I woke up this morning feeling low. Desperately low. A low I had been avoiding for a while by busying myself with work and cleaning and writing and long distance video calls and baking cookies and buying plants and playing ukelele and building domino patterns and trying to keep a positive attitude.

But this morning, that feeling took over for a while. It felt heavy. The heaviness you feel when you put on a wool coat that has been soaked in water. It weighed on me for a while – reminding me of when my school blazer would get wet and I would still have to wear the cold, heavy, soggy garment around school until it had dried out and the weight had lifted.

Today’s feeling was heavy and wet. It took a while to dry out. I couldn’t place where exactly this heaviness had come from but it was there and refused to leave easily.

I sat with it a while, trying to place where it’s roots were, and I soon realised that this heaviness had been hovering around me for a while anyway, gathering weight in the background as the days and weeks of this unsettled and uneasy time of our lives dragged on.

You see, unsettled and uneasy times exist in every life and our ability and capacity to deal with these times is usually adequate for the length of time it stays. Trauma. Loss. Change. Grief. Each has a season and the average human has within them the strength to get through that time. We know this because humanity has been doing this for ever.

When I reflect on this time in our history, I realised that perhaps one of the reasons for this heaviness is because we do not know how long this season will last. Personally, this time of unease has now lasted 12 weeks. For others it has been longer. For others it is shorter. But humanity is in a shared time of unease, fear, and living through a long period of uncertainty. The average human can cope with this for a short time. We are within an extended period of what has been described as collective trauma.

This weighted coat that I felt like I was wearing today was a symptom of that. The tears that fell today were a symptom of that. It is overwhelming. It is okay to say that. It is okay to feel that.

There will be more days like this. But there will be better days to come too. Even though it seems like it is a long time, this is just a season. Seasons change. This too shall pass.

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