Ever since the coronavirus pandemic exploded, I’ve been feeling quite confused. Sometimes, I feel extremely grateful because my family and my friends are safe. Other times, I feel heartbroken for the people who are sick, their loved-ones and the ones who are economically affected by the quarantine. When I am disappointed about a trip to see international friends being canceled, I feel a little ashamed for feeling sad about something so “superficial” when other people have it worst.
I’ve also heard a lot of things about how people are dealing with this crisis. Some are having anxiety due to isolation, others are taking this time as an opportunity to rest and practice being, while others want to use this time to write the next best-selling novel, just to name a few examples.
So, who is right and who is wrong? Which feelings are we allowed to feel? What’s the right way to use this time?
After a lot of reflection, I've come to understand this: We can feel and do anything our soul asks of us.
Now, I’m not saying that if we really miss partying or going to the movies we should go ahead and do that, because now more than ever our actions affect other people, and we need to be aware of the interconnectedness that unites us.
What I am saying is that it’s okay to embrace our full humanity during this crisis, which usually means having contradictory feelings. We are allowed to feel scared, brave, relieved, worried, joyful, heartbroken, relaxed, angry (feel free to keep adding to this list because we are allowed to feel EVERYTHING).
I will not let the fact that my loved ones are okay keep me from connecting to the pain of the one’s who are not.
I’m equally committed to not let the fact that we are facing a worldwide crisis to keep me from feeling the joy of having the time to watch a movie with my family, talk with my friends or laugh with my boyfriend.
I also want to remember, that just because someone is having a “worst time” than me, that doesn't mean that I'm not allowed to feel the uncomfortable feelings. Because pain, disappointment, anger, among others, are signs that we are taking all that comes to us in life, the highs and the lows, and everything in the middle.
In these times of uncertainty, there are a thousand things I do not know, but I do know this: The world can hold so much light, so much darkness and a billion things in between those two. We also have light, darkness and different shades inside of us. I truly believe that embracing them all is what makes us fully human. So, let’s keep leaning into our humanity with an open heart.