What do we do when it so regularly feels that we are gasping for breath and just keeping our heads above the water to survive? It’s a tricky place to be and one that can feel quite lonely. When things are particularly tough it can be quite natural to feel that we are the only one suffering and that every one else has it easier. This can also cause us to become insular, to want to hide away. We don’t want to be a burden like we feel burdened, we don’t want to share our troubles – they’re too big to put on anyone else. But, why do we do this? We need connection.
Again, as winter descends, more and more are having to cut themselves off to self-isolate, a totally unnatural phenomenon. Being alone through difficulties is not how we have been designed. We are made for attachments, made to share the good, the bad and the ugly, but our race to the top and now pandemic-stricken world seems to be slowly oozing that need for community out of us.
Family. We’re all born into one right? Whatever form it might take. As humans, we are not born into the wild and expected to survive for ourselves. We’d be extinct. We are given a carer, someone bigger, someone wiser, and someone who can take responsibility for the little life. If this is not the case in a birth family, that child is found a new family. It is known that they cannot survive alone. So why do we try?
I just took Awena for a lovely autumnal walk. It was good to be out of the house. She was happy, she was chattering, she was having a go at walking herself. But it soon turned and she cried/screamed most of the way home – no real reason other than she was tired/wanted her toy teapot but kept hurling it out of the buggy in anger. Now today, I was in a good place so I could manage this. However, as I was walking along another lady (I’ve no idea if she was a mummy) said to me “keep smiling”. That was so encouraging. I could have been having an awful day and she could have been screaming for hours, but that connection and sympathetic attention encouraged me none the less.
At the weekend, we had our monthly movie night. It was my turn to choose the film and I had opted for Soul. It was a bit of a strange one, but the final scene was really poignant. It made me stop and think. In these times when things feel very on top of us, how do we survive? We find those small things that connect us – connect us with ourselves, the world, another. We take a deep breath in and live every moment of the life we have been given. When times are tough it is so easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, our purpose in life.
So, my challenge to us all today is to find a way in which we can reconnect. If we’re in because we’re self-isolating, if we’re alone because we’re home and our baby is sleeping, if we’re by ourselves because we work alone, wherever we are find a way to connect with something today. Take a moment to breath, reflect, collect an autumn leaf, text your mum/friend. Whatever meets that need today.
Spoiler alert…if you’ve not seen the film, avoid watching this clip – otherwise, go ahead, it sums it all up beautifully.