An Open Window

I have to say this…. It’s something I feel more strongly about than ever before. I have always promoted therapy and free expression of thoughts and feelings. But now I have a metaphor I’d like to use to convey what it means to me.“Its like opening a closed window in your home and feeling that fresh air”. Feels like a new vision, a new perception, an alternative perspective, a breath of fresh air / liberation, that’s what sounding your concerns and emotions with someone whom you trust feels like to me.

A few insights that I’d like to share, which are a catalyst in my life’s journey…”not saying how I feel, has never got me anything ever” and this one I have experienced many a times through the home stay (pandemic/lock down).

Whether it was when I told my children to give me my space while I was feeling low n exhausted or when I confessed to myself that “it was okay to not always be okay”.
I learnt that I do not need to feel guilty or beat myself up for the things I couldn’t do. That got me care n love from my loved ones in small and appreciable ways. Not letting them know how I felt…. was not going to get me anything, was a huge learning for me in this novel phase of life.

“The life that U and I signed up for has changed” and we are allowed to have our feelings and doubts about it and make mistakes along the way. I find an unusual sense of relief in affirming that statement to myself. It may or may not work for u… but it might we worth just making a run at it. It certainly helped me manage my difficult emotions better. As there is a strange but a sense of acceptance in that statement, where I wasn’t fighting or resisting any feeling anymore, rather flowing with it.

Yeah yeah… “this too shall pass’ … nay…is not one of my favorite quotes anymore. Its been over used and over endorsed around me, to build a somewhat distaste towards it.
Its something we all know.. and hearing it from another makes it almost repulsive. Honestly, it’s an analogy I have used too. But now, I have come to understand the importance of living in the present and feeling the feelings of the “here and now” , dealing with them or simply acknowledging them to manage them better perhaps. I don’t find it comforting anymore to be told or to ferry this disbelief of an unknown future anymore. I can say that this amelioration is transpired thanks to this blood-thirsty, cannibalistic and ruthless virus. I confess that my family and I are one among many of those blessed and benign ones who as compared to those directly impacted are safe and healthy in the comfort of our homes.
As an emotional wellness professional, listening to the palpable concerns and burdens of a few fellow citizens, I can say this much… that this is not what anyone of us ever got trained to crank… not as a kid or a thriving teenager, a mother or father, not as elders or grandparents, not as teachers or health experts, not even as the front line workers of the society. Yet its awe- inspiring and colossal to know that “all of us are doing everything we can”, to run the show as best possible.

“keep passing the open windows” – John Irving.
I was lucky to find this quote which so well resonated with my pandemic story in a nut shell.

-Ruchi Bhuwalka

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