Connection is something that has always intrigued me. What deems one connected to another? Is it a similarity in lifestyle choices? The commonality of faith-based views? Agreeing on politics? Age? Culture? Upbringing? So many variables are in play in what I would consider one of the most powerful things we as humans can share with each other.
Over the last couple of years, I have had the honor of experiencing cultures that are the polar opposite of what I was raised to believe as normal. To see the beauty of connection in a bigger capacity than I could ever conjure up.
Humbling. Eye-opening. Beautiful. Profound.
These experiences have ignited this passion of finding connections. To create empathy, with the hope to make people feel seen, known, and understood. Even if it’s on the smallest scale, connection, from what I have experienced thus far in my mere 30 years of life is powerful.
Now, unless you have been living under a rock (and I am sure even then you would be no stranger to what I am about to say) we can all agree that 2020 isn’t the grand adventure that we dreamed it to be. Full of heartaches. Stress. So much stress. Uncertainty. Fear. Doubt. Mourning and grieving. I could continue this list, but I think I have made my point clear.
As an ENFP and a 7 wing 6 (google those things if it sounds foreign), this season has felt suffocating. Feeling robbed of freedom and purpose. And at the same time feeling as though a prisoner to the heavy, deep, overwhelming feelings and experiences that have occurred since March. No way to escape, but only to sit in it.
Sitting in the discomfort is something that I have grown in over the last couple of years. Trying with all that’s in me to feel the depth of not only the pleasant emotions/feelings but also doing the same to the heavy and painful ones. I wouldn’t consider myself a professional at doing this, but I have noticed growth and maturity in how I feel, process, and experience the heavy painful feelings life inevitably brings along our journeys.
In April a slew of events occurred in my life in a matter of days that carried a lot of weight, pain, fear, guilt, and helplessness. It was heavy. In the weeks to come, I found myself having an internal battle of how to handle everything. Usually, I would explore/travel/change up my surroundings to gain a greater perspective, but this was the season of COVID that stay at home orders were in place, so even if I wanted to escape physically there was literally nothing I could do. This lead to me fighting against every unhealthy coping mechanism I have ever battled with in the past coming back full force and more inviting than ever.
It was messy. So incredibly messy.
But at one point while processing through my pain I started thinking bigger than me, because I was starting to put myself in a victim circle, and needed to get out of that mindset quickly. My thoughts brought me to COVID, but in a way that I hadn’t thought about before. Everyone in the whole wide world is experiencing this. Maybe not exactly to the exact details of my season with COVID, but it has been felt by all.
In a weird way, we are all connected to each other more than we have ever been, well at least in my existence. More than just being living breathing humans that exist on the same planet, we now all have something in common with everybody. Everyone has experienced uncertainty, sorrow, pain, grief, pain, and helplessness to some degree in the last 5 months.
Maybe not in the way that we would have ever thought or wanted it to be, but we have all been connected. Connection, the very thing that can create a bond with another. A catalyst for unity, even while we are all incredibly diverse, which is a beautiful thing. We have all experienced and are still experiencing the unexpected and uncomfortable weight that is COVID together. It’s not anything we freely chose, but instead, it’s something that we all got to unexpectantly experience together.
Now, I wish I had some pretty bow to tie on this season that will make it all worth it, but in all honestly, I don’t have anything physically tangible for you to hold onto. However, I do have hope that is bigger, deeper, and more fierce than ever that this will produce something more beautiful than we could ever imagine on our own. That this connection of shared experience we all now share will create big and beautiful changes in how we see the world, each other, and the things that actually matter in life. That we won’t forget nor deny the depths of heaviness, and pain we felt during this season, but instead learn for it. Allowing it to be the new and sturdy foundation that we now build our lives from. A clean foundation that was shaken and everything that wasn’t stable was taken down in order to build a more sturdy and strong structure. An ebenezer of what we have all walked through together.