If there is ever a time to make friends with uncertainty, it is now; and if there is ever a place to make friends with the unknown, it is here. This has always been the case, but in times of existential threat (a threat to existence) such as a pandemic, it is difficult to hide from it. Anxieties that were hitherto unconscious to us have come to the surface and many of us struggle with what to do with them. But now we have a golden opportunity to take care of what for many of us has always needed our care and attention, but has been avoided, - our inner Self.
It is only in the here and now that one can come to rest. We will never be able to rest in the future, as right now, the future does not exist; and we will never be able to rest in the past because right now, the past does not exist. This clearly demonstrates that the use of the mind to reject past wounds, while unaware, still carrying them in the present, and then continuing to stressfully grasp for a secure future, is the governor of our experience. This is the cause and perpetuation of our anxieties. It only serves to take us away from the here and now, and therefore away from ourselves.
While we may feel the frustration and even imprisonment of not being able to go out and about as we would normally do, staying at home can be a time of rest and retreat; a time to make space for reflection, to discover what is meaningful and what new direction may unfold in due course.
Covid 19 has claimed the lives of many thousands and continues to do so. The initial panic buying of food and toilet roll clearly expressed displaced existential anxieties; demonstrating a grasping for security in a way that reflects an inability to tolerate our here and now experience.
With the deepest gratitude we all feel for our health workers who are working around the clock to save lives, we too can play a massive part in controlling the spread of a psychological virus, that of insecurity and fear, that has fuelled a grasping and driven economy and has at times neglected equality as well as the environment on which we depend. The fear of the unknown has always been a psychological pandemic, but it need not be.
The task now, as always, is to take care of our anxiety and keep our nervous systems regulated. There are those who actively seek silence, outer and inner for the purpose of feeling into the part of themselves that is well, whole and at peace, despite the storm. In whichever way works for us, when we find the calmer, peaceful and stable part of ourselves, whether spiritual, religious or secular, we refrain from energising fear and anxiety and it's knock on effects. In my view, this is one of the best ways to help each other. In our calmer and more conscious state, our clearer perspective is available to us; and hopefully, with the vision of a less driven and more ethically sustainable economy that is both more relational to the planet as well as to ourselves and each other, but by no means any less successful.
As a psychotherapist, despite my years of training and experience, and the issues my clients present, I do not know what a client is going to express in any given moment from their inner depths that reveals to them their deeper clarity and truth. There is a greater sanity waiting to be realised where they initially thought there was something wrong that needed to be fixed. It happens by allowing a space where with patience and compassion we can pay deep attention to the here and now experience. It is not uncommon for this to be first expressed as grief or loss of some kind. Our innermost feelings are often expressed through grief, either because of the death of loved ones or through other losses that throw us into uncertainty. Uncertainty and the unknown bring our attention into the here and now; and it is only in the here and now where we can experience deeper clarity and direction to pave the way for change.
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