Language fails when I attempt to put into words what I have been witness to and experienced over the past year. Always on my mind, as a therapist and human being, are the challenges of coping and stabilizing during this time.
I have found it important to acknowledge and validate that sometimes our efforts to help ourselves don’t feel like “enough”, and during this global pandemic, they often aren’t enough to fully soothe us. There is simply so much that has changed and remains unstable and unknown. Restrictions leave us unable to seek out resources and support in ways we may have in the past, former coping skills become no longer relevant to current situations, and we are left patching together a plan for our mental health without access to what may be helpful.
I have noticed that because of this, although we may be able to soothe some part of us, there are often places within left protesting and wanting things to be different. At times, we are likely to get tangled in these places. Simply put, we are reaching for answers while simultaneously insufficiently equipped to live and work during a global pandemic.
If it feels like no combination of things is adequately stabilizing – trust yourself, right now, nothing feels like it is. This doesn’t mean we should give up, in fact, it’s exactly at this moment of realization that we may be able to welcome compassion and understanding. It’s when we may be able to say to ourselves – “I know, it’s really hard, nothing seems like enough.” And in that moment, we may gain something more valuable than the certitude we often crave about the future; the ability to utilize the power we hold in acknowledging our human experience – to meet ourselves where we are, and to validate the feelings that are right here and now.
Of course, this is the journey of being alive – to face both the joy and suffering. But when we recognize, “Oh, this is the suffering,” we may more easily turn toward ourselves in a gentle way.
You are exactly where you are, meet yourself here. And each time you notice the tangling, the pressure, the sadness, the searching, the desire for certainty – see if you can validate your human life on this earth, in this time. A human life, a nervous system, doing the best it can to navigate, when so very much has changed.
By Shannon Bovey, M.Ed., RP, CCC
Shannon Bovey is a Registered Psychotherapist with The Counselling Group. She works with individuals across the lifespan, for more information about her practice please see her bio. Looking for counselling? The Counselling Group offers a variety of experienced therapists who can support positive changes and growth in your life. For more information, please visit www.counsellinggroup.com or call 613-722-2225 ext 352 to speak with an intake worker today. We are offering appointments remotely at this time and are available to speak with you for new requests.