Weeping may go on all night, but in the morning there is joy. Psalm 30:5
I recently read an article written by Aisha Ahmad about the three stages people go through when experiencing a global catastrophe. She’s been through multiple crises, including war and says this is in many ways similar to war. Her advice provided a guiding light for me.
She says initially, we will be in shock, our brains will be fuzzy and we’ll struggle to accomplish anything. It’s difficult because your body is adjusting to a new normal. No one does this with so much grace they don’t miss a beat. (I was trying.) It’s appropriate to feel loss and sadness. If we allow ourselves to have these feelings, we will move into stage two, where more productivity and focus is available to us. If we deny the feelings, we prolong stage one.
This set me free because I had been afraid the sad feelings would take me lower and lower until isolation was over. Because I knew it could last a long time, I was trying to ward those feelings off. This made me cry easily. All the feelings were there, under the surface, whether I wished them away or not, and they kept leaking out. The denial caused havoc inside too. I became insanely critical of myself (humans often resort to perfectionism when they feel out of control) and it was excruciating.
When I read this article, I knew there is light before the end of the tunnel.
I could let my feelings come up and they would indeed move on before COVID19 does. I would not feel rotten until the end of the need to shelter in place.
So I did. I let my feelings be sad and my energy be low. It’s moved me forward to a place where my body has reset. I’m able to sleep better at night, function during the day and my emotions are more stable.
For any of you who are afraid of the panic or fear or sadness you feel, I wanted to pass on the words of this guide who has been through this before. We are blessed to live a life where this experience is so foreign to us, and yet, it means the way through is unfamiliar. (If you’d like to read her article, you can find it here.)
I pray you find the space to allow your feelings so your body can reset. I pray for the good things God has planned for us in this season to manifest themselves. I pray for eyes to see the good and hands to help with any hardship that is within our reach.