As I sit in my backyard, not really knowing what day it is or how long we as a society have had to adapt to our new reality, I secretly feel grateful for what this time has brought me. When I say secretly, I don’t mean I am hiding these feelings of gratitude from others, but more from myself. My soul has had to reap the life-giving benefits of this shut down of society in private, while my conscious mind plays an endless loop of “normal and appropriate” thoughts such as:
- “I don’t deserve this rest, I haven’t done anything to be tired.”
- “There are people risking their lives helping others and I am bored at home.” and
- “I need to take advantage of this time to do EVERYTHING I haven’t had the time for for the past 20 years.”
Meditation has been a gift that not only keeps my anxious mind and body at bay, but also gives me the opportunity to step into a reality, even if its just for 10 minutes, that’s full of self-compassion rather than self-criticism, clarity rather than fog, and freedom rather than restraint. I share this because today in my daily morning meditation (something I haven’t done consistently until this quarantine began), I realized that giving yourself permission to rest and replenish during this time is not only okay, its beneficial to society as a whole.
Everyone feels like they need permission. To rest, to live in a state of well-being, to be an emotionally healthy human being.
The narrative of our society is “I can focus on my mental, emotional, physical well-being… as long as it doesn’t get in the way of work or school.”
The wake up call we all need: YOU have to give yourself permission to care for yourself, heal yourself, and accept yourself.
We are in a really strange circumstance in which SOCIETY has stopped and said “Hey (insert name here), take a breather and recuperate from the past several decades of constant work, self-criticism, and stress you’ve suffered.” And yet we are still hesitant to accept that offer, even though this (hopefully) is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m not sure if society is ever going to give us this chance again, and honestly we don’t need everything in the world to stop to have a valid reason to take care of ourselves.
My wish for you is to wake up every morning, whether you know what day of the week it is or not, and believe deep down you are worthy of rest. You don’t have to earn it. You are worthy of healing the wounds within your heart. You don’t need permission. You are worthy of experiencing joy that is not tied to circumstance. It’s just a matter of accepting the offer that is already yours.