“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”― Mother Teresa
A friend of mine cancelled out of a zoom meeting she’d been looking forward to because of an unexpected opening in scheduling for the virus vaccine. We all understood, of course, when she said by way of explanation, ‘I just have to get my life back’. Yet, for the next few days that phrase kept running around in my head, a chorus I didn’t like much but couldn’t get rid of. I could tell that even with empathy for the desire to return to the pre-pandemic life we once led, something about that statement bothered me enough to keep repeating in my brain; a circular, never ending argument like a website that won’t load or vaccination schedule that won’t show any results. Why? What is there about getting my life back that makes me so uncomfortable?
The phrase has many layers, and perhaps therein lie the reasons for its challenge. On the surface of it we all understand the desire to regain control, or at least the perception of control over one’s own destiny. Our work, schedules, decisions about everything and everyone touching our lives, and choices we were used to making for ourselves were all taken away. In one, overpowering, backhanded and unexpected grab the pandemic accomplished a blackout cloaked in the darkness of a universe most of us were unaware of. Our freedom was stolen overnight, and we want it back. But is that all this year was? Just a challenge to our patience and fortitude in a war where we were only observers rather than participants? I think it was much, much more than that. And I know that humanity learned a great deal about it’s existence and purpose on the planet, to say nothing of each community within the many seams of societies covering the Earth. And from that new knowledge of ourselves both collectively and personally, I believe we’ve gained a great deal I don’t want to give up, hence my reluctance to embrace ‘getting my life back’ again. Continue Reading