I was listening to the perspectives of this very interesting psychologist. Whatever she says highly resonates with me as she does not mince her words ever. What I like is that she vocalises thoughts that most of us would keep to ourselves.
One thing that would probably resonate is something I have raised many times in my various pieces. How well do we know ourselves? The effect of the pandemic is multi fold. We have the real threat of an invisible enemy which is potentially fatal. Hence, we adhere to protocols, social distancing, mask-wearing and we avoid large mass gatherings.
We largely function in bubbles, restrict our social interactions enclaved to the bubble concept, and many choose to work from home. We live day by day, awaiting a series of ever-changing instructions. We abide by vaccination programmes and test our children to adhere to school regulations. This new somewhat dystopian set up has obviously meant we no longer function pre-March 2020. That life is truly gone.
Gone are the days of travelling for simple pleasure. But please don’t get me wrong, am grateful that my Tweens are able to go back to school again, I am happy to converse with the lovely people in my local cafes just as much as I am grateful to talk to fellow parents. I am grateful that we can keep things real and able to realise that perhaps we were too avoidant of human contact before. Perhaps, we were avoidant to face our true selves.
There are two ways to look at this forced isolation. Either it puts us in the permanent victimhood we once lived in or it gives us a chance to journey inwards and relearn how to get to know ourselves better. Life is an ongoing series of lessons, that largely teaches us more about ourselves than our parents, partners, friends, work colleagues or teachers. Only if we are prepared to get to know ourselves better and surrender to life itself, we can learn to know ourselves better.
There are so many times we feel we need to question ourselves. Do we need external validation if we know ourselves? Do we need to be told that we look good because fundamentally we do not feel good about ourselves. Do we act critical of the world because we have low self-esteem? What the wonderful psychologist said is that it is absolutely fine to be alone and only in aloneness we get the real and better us to emerge. After all, it takes a lifetime to get to know someone, so why not focus that energy to get to know yourself first and foremost. We can learn to praise ourselves so that we can truly praise others without any expectations.
It is very true that society and culture force us to think that we should never be alone and solitary, but perhaps culture had solitude confused with loneliness. Loneliness is a mind construct and highlights our fears and lacks. We feel the need to be surrounded by people or we fall in love with the idea of being in love because we fear being judged or we fear being lonely. Culturally, we have this schema whereby, you are raised to become the perfect child, the best student, the best at your career, and then you need to be paired off with someone, have children and replicate the same tedious schema.
This is the programmed self, perhaps not your true self? Of course, if the schema resonates with one then one should have the right to live happily. But I do think that we feel the need to be in partnerships because we live in fear, not in love. Perhaps if we are taught to love ourselves we would not feel the desperate pressure of having to find love. We would not have fear but exude true love. Raising children in fear has made its mark on society, and high time we deconstructed that. Our children should be raised to learn to be comfortable with their aloneness and in love with themselves. As parents, it is our duty not to project our fears or lacks on them.
I do feel that this pandemic has forced us to feel comfortable with ourselves again, to appreciate who we truly are, to find ourselves beautiful, to find our inner beauty, to see how we make ourselves complete. It has perhaps deconstructed cultural beliefs and has forced us to journey inwards to allow our true selves to shine. Only when we get to know and love ourselves better, we can become better partners, better parents, better sons and daughters, better siblings better friends and better coworkers.
Perhaps when we ditch distractions we function with a stronger purpose. My message to you my lovely readers is that we are not out of the unknown for a while, so this is your chance to show who you truly are and what you are truly capable of. This is your time to truly shine your magic selves and make a difference. This is the perfect time to develop a loving relationship with yourself because you make the world a better place. You matter!