So many of us right now are feeling it — a cruel, nagging, cold feeling that keeps descending into our awareness during this isolated period, alerting us that something tremendous is lost from our lives. As one of my friends put it, “I wasn’t going out and socializing or even dating before quarantine. But the idea, the illusion that it was always an option I had on hand — that was comforting. Now even the illusion has been stripped away.”
As difficult as our present set of circumstances are, as much as we’re all worried about money and security and our long-term outlook, we actually have a remarkable opportunity at present to go ahead and — are you ready for this? — lean into and let ourselves encounter that empty feeling.
Ordinarily there’s plenty to keep us occupied, to keep us from facing it. What was it for you? Workaholism? Shopping? Getaway plans? Cash in the bank? Grindr or hookup apps? (Forgive me, I don’t know what all the straight equivalent hookup apps are.) In short, it could be literally anything…whatever left you feeling like bliss was right around the corner. With all those diversions presently cleared out, what remains is all the poo that we have been sweeping under the rug.
Intuitively, we grasp that we haven’t completely experienced love. This leads us into a headlong confrontation with our inner chasm, with that profound sense of emptiness.
It’s actually a blessing in disguise — a blessing that’ll require testing our mettle to integrate into our experience and make us kinder, more loving and open human beings.
Try to adopt a mindfulness practice, whatever that looks like for you. In confronting this emptiness, let the tears flow if you need to.
Try to get really clear on what it would take to free yourself from dead weights that are cheap substitutes for love, but deep down we know are a far cry from the real thing. How can you expand in ways that allow you to open yourself up to love?
What do you have to lose just allowing it to happen and letting go? With all the love and self-respect inside yourself, secure in the knowledge that someday soon quarantine will lift and the diversions of life will return louder than ever — why not just face it? What if you confronted this space in you where childhood trauma and wounds robbed you of your innate ability to connect with and experience love from others, in spite of the fact that you’ve made great progress in your adult life?
As Marianne Williamson writes in A Return To Love,
“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
The only version of yourself that anyone is truly going to fall in love with is the genuine you.
That longing you’re feeling, as scary and uncomfortable as it might be, holds a purpose for you. That’s genuine, and it’s showing you the way home.