Many people are struggling with lockdown as we enter week 4 here in the UK. They have enjoyed some enforced rest and quiet time, they have been working on home projects that were long overdue, and they have made the most of their time off work. But now they are getting bored, feeling lonely, and frustrated because they cannot go out and do all those busy activities that were previously a way of life.
I have been in isolation before, in many different ways. The ones that stick in my mind today are memories of 2008. This was before I got married but my husband and I were settling in to our first mortgaged home together. My dog, Toby, had died suddenly and I was recovering from eye surgery. Due to a lifetime of chronic eye pain, ingrowing eyelashes and drooping eyelids (something that generally only affects elderly people), I was recommended for Eyelid Rotation surgery in both eyes. Due to the nature of the procedure I had to have the operations on different dates, and each time it required me to take four weeks off work to recuperate. The first operation came and went while I had Toby. He was my nurse, my companion and my therapy dog. I wasn’t lonely while I had my dog.
The second operation came shortly after Toby died. I was completely alone for four weeks while my husband worked long hours and did overtime at weekends. Back then we had a reclusive neighbour on one side who stayed in his house, and we hadn’t yet gotten to know our neighbours on the other side. I was grieving and felt completely lost and lonely. I was still settling into the town we had recently moved to, so I didn’t have any local friends or networks. I couldn’t leave the house because I was physically unable to move far. We didn’t have social media back then. I decided to channel my energy into something productive. I had been reading about Tarot cards and crystals for holistic health and wellbeing. I began to meditate, I made notes from the books I was reading, and I got out my Tarot cards and crystals and began to study them.
This was a time that brought about a huge change in my emotional and spiritual personality. I grew up. I stopped wallowing in self-pity. I took charge of my life and my situation. I decided to accept my chronic eye condition and continue to fight through each day, just as I had done all my life. I felt like I had taken huge steps to becoming the person I was supposed to be, and those changes continued to evolve during the next few years. When I look back now to that lonely time, I realize just how different I am these days. Yes, I still indulge in self-pity and I still feel lonely sometimes. But now I am surrounded by loving friends and a fantastic community, my spiritual practice has become a daily habit, and I know that there are more changes to come. Who knows how life will look after lockdown? All we can do is make the most of it and embrace the opportunity to take charge of ourselves. When did you last have a significant spiritual development?
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