Tonight, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I’m going to a friend’s house for a potluck dinner and meeting with people outside my own household, and…I’m SO EXCITED!
The people coming are all 2 weeks+ past our full vaccinations, so we have the CDC’s blessing. Of course, we’ll still be cautious and practice good hygiene and all that, but still…I can start being with other people again. Last night on a Zoom meeting with some of our spiritual center’s leaders, we began discussing plans to start offering services again in person instead of by Zoom in the not-too-distant future. And I just booked a hotel for my first trip away from home since the first week of March 2020.
So, life is beginning to get back to safe interactions with people and places outside my own home. And that is a REALLY big deal.
This week, my good friend Diane gave a talk about the spiritual practice of Radical Forgiveness, and part of what she talked about was our need to truly experience all of our emotions, both those that we like and those that we might prefer not to feel. So as I begin to tip toe back into society, I also realize the need to process the pain and the difficulties and the other emotions I may have suppressed over the past 12 or so months in lockdown. When we are going through some tough times, sometimes we have to ignore bad feelings in order to power through dealing with what we need to do. But as the sun starts to shine again, I think it is important to bring those feelings to light so that we can acknowledge them, feel them, and let them go.
That’s some internal work I’ve been doing since her talk on Wednesday night.
One thing that really helped me in this work is an article from the New York Times. Melissa Kirsch posed a great question:
A couple of weeks ago I asked if there was one song that you would forever associate with your time in quarantine, a tune whose opening bars will always remind you of these last 13 months. The submissions are fantastic, together forming a soundtrack that captures the emotional extremes, the isolation and yearning and nostalgia of a year at home.
I think that is a fabulous inquiry, because music is one way that I access my feelings emotionally rather than intellectually. That is, I can sit here and THINK about what negative feelings about the past year I might have suppressed. Listening to music, however, is more likely to bring up those feelings inside of me.
So yesterday I was listening to the playlist on and off, reacting to other people’s choices and what they brought up in me. Sometimes it was laugher, sometimes it was nostalgia, sometimes it was tears, and sometimes it was…nothing. But it was a great help for me in the exercise of processing my pandemic experience.
If you are interested in listening to the playlist, you can access it below:
But I would love to know––what song or songs come up for you when thinking about this lockdown year? When I pondered this question, I was surprised by what songs I felt expressed this year for me.
So think about it. And if you are willing to share, please enter your choices in the comments below. I’m still digesting all this, but I’ll do a post within the next week about my songs and reasons for choosing them.
PS––I don’t believe in coincidences. Psychologist Carl Jung believed in something he called “synchronicity,” which he defined as “circumstances that appear meaningfully related yet lack a causal connection.”** So I don’t think it was an accident that I discovered this playlist the day I decided I needed to do this internal clean-up work. It was just what I needed to kick-start my process. I hope others find this useful as well in doing their own re-entry work, at whatever pace it is going for them.
**Kerr, Laura K. (2013). “Definition: Synchronicity”. In Teo, T. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
NOTE: If you want to know more about Radical Forgiveness, click here. Diane is doing a Zoom class on this topic in May 2021; click here for details about that. Remember, it may not be an accident that you are reading this post…