Are you still standing?
You know that, of course.
Most days feel like I’m getting shoved between ‘man this is tough’ and ‘yes, but many more people have it worse.’ It’s a regular battle between self-pity and humility.
Both are true, but I need to do it a lot more often than in years gone by.
It’s a time to dig deep and move slow. Remembering to breathe and offer gentle, encouraging words of hope steers me back on track.
Looking back and moving forward
It’s almost a year since I started writing about how to survive lockdown. I emphasised the importance of structuring your day, self-care and sticking together. It feels like a lifetime ago.
I’m amused by my suggestion (28th March 2020)…” after one week of lockdown, you’re probably getting a little cabin fever.”
We’re all struggling, and some of us more than others. I remember Emily Maitlis’ honest words on Newsnight calling out the PM and anyone else who claimed that coronavirus was a ‘great leveller’.
This week, Ed Barnes’ short film featuring a poem about lockdown went viral on Facebook. It’s a beautiful and authentic depiction not only of how suffering strikes disproportionately but of what you might do to help your fellow human.
It’s a welcome reminder to engage your compassion because it lifts people. We can’t solve every problem, and yet it’s something you can do.
The popular American Psychologist Tara Brach is a wise champion of human connections. Recently, a colleague shared with me something he’d heard her say regarding a question: what if you think they don’t deserve your compassion?
It’s not about what they deserve; it’s’ about what you want for your own heart.
Inspiration is all around us
Monday, I unwittingly gave myself food poisoning, and I was forced to stop, lay down and sleep. I slipped in some TV of course, including the Idris Elba acting of Nelson Mandela in The Long Walk to Freedom.
The South African apartheid government imprisoned Nelson in 1964 and finally released 27 years later. His speech from the dock in which he stated “I am prepared to die” for the ideal of Black and White living together in harmony, demonstrates his courage to the cause. Despite the relentless abuse and isolation, by the end, he was still standing.
Just like you, I’ve watched many films and read many books in the last 12 months. I’ve found endless inspiration that’s allowed me to go forwards with an open heart, even when I’ve felt angry or hopeless.
Hope is on the horizon.
It’s within reach.
I want to hurry it along, and I need to be patient.
Together we can keep powering forwards with courage and compassion.