28 March 2020
This morning I awoke with the claws of fear suffocating me and I can literally still feel my heart wanting to jump out of my chest as I type. Not quite sure how I have managed to let this overwhelming fear seep in, as I am usually that person who goes with the flow, whose cup is half full (vs half-empty), who works hard at not hooking into stories and who always bounces back. This certainly is not the case today!
I suppose that up until yesterday it was all surreal for me. We were all participants of some sort of extended chess game and if we played by the rules, life would revert to ‘normal’ after 21 Days! What sort of delusional spell have I been living under? Every piece on this chessboard is uncertain as to their next move and even the main players don’t know the rules of this game! In fact, the board has changed shape and pieces have morphed - there are no rules and this is no game! We are now all participants, willing or unwilling, of a momentous history-making snowball …and who knows if, where and when it will crash! How terrifying is that thought?! Breathe Lindsy breathe!!!
My maternal grandparents, Aanie and Derf lived through World War Two, and as horrific and enthralling as their war stories were, they were just that - stories! Years after they have gone, their idiosyncracies around food are still etched on my memory though. Aanie would only eat butter, never margarine, and Derf religiously wolfed down a huge breakfast fry up every morning. Today I finally ‘get it’, today I connect with my ancestors, today the puzzle pieces fit - throughout the war Aanie lived on weekly fat rations, and Derf survived on rice and water as a Japanese prisoner of war. How this experience shaped the rest of their lives and how what we are going through today will shape ours! And to think that two days ago, I thought we were invincible that my cushy life would retain it’s status quo until death do me part! I am now living through the next war and may fear therefore not be the thing that kills me!
LESSON TO SELF: Covid-19 is very real and we are living through a time of great uncertainty, where we don’t know the rules and can’t predict the outcome. Fear is very real too, but here we have the power to choose how we engage with it and how we respond to it.
EXERCISE: Write a list of all the social media newsfeeds you are currently following and of these choose a maximum of two that you trust. Now delete all the rest and commit to checking ONLY these two platforms once a day. There will always be more news and more horror stories, but this does not serve us, it only feeds the Fear Monster.
PRACTICE: LEAN INTO FEAR: When you feel those ‘Monster Fear Claws’ take grip, turn around and face it. Take a deep breath, look that monster straight in the eye and acknowledge it - ’Aaaah, hello there, it’s you again Fear Monster!’. It is here where your monster loses its power and where you can reclaim yours. So often we spend so much time and energy running and hiding from this fear that it is the fear that debilitates us …and not the problem.
With love and gratitude.