It has been very unsettling as of late. First COVID-19 changed everything about our lives - how we have managed, how we have connected with other people, and even how we work. We've had to grasp at technology, which can feel overwhelming at best. I have had to jump on board with technology and have even had to guide some of my clients as they get use to video-therapy and my new online platform. When will I be able to see clients face-to-face? ...this seems to be the question that arises as we now head into another month of "physical distancing". And the answer is "I don't know".
Getting accustomed to uncertainty is our new way of being. It is unsettling and anxiety provoking. I am no stranger to this. We do well with predictability and routine - until it gets knocked on its head. And inevitably it gets knocked on its head. One thing we can be sure of in life, is the inevitability of surprises - good or bad.
I have been making my way through Andrew Holecek's "The Power and the Pain - Transforming Spiritual Hardship into Pain". It is a dense book filled with a number of "Aha" moments for me, so I have to read slowly, plodding mindfully through a number of insights.
This book highlights my current state of mind. And it occurs to me, through all of this physical distancing, how utterly and ironically connected I really feel towards my family, friends, community, and to others who are experiencing hardship and pain. In fact, I am making better efforts to connect with those I can no longer hug, nor see in person. The power of technology, that I have such a conflicted relationship with, has in fact allowed much of this to happen.
I am acutely aware of the kinship I have with others - we are all suffering - some much greater than others. Thomas Aquinas stated that "No one becomes compassionate unless he suffers." Suffering allows our hearts to open up to the hurts of others. Suffering and compassion affords us the opportunity to meld into the soul of another person's pain. Holecek writes "Hardship connects us to our own hearts and then to others."
Right now, as pain and confusion build globally, I take solace in knowing that many of us are are building both compassion and the courage to express it.