It’s the grandest illusion of all. You’re on your own.
And how about this pandemic? It was like a formal invitation to separation.
Remember 2020? Your local leadership probably announced rules about staying inside. You might have been alone at home, or you might have been with others and reached a painful limit.
This makes me think of Peggy.
Peggy’s an old friend who’s been in an assisted living center for a few years. She’s a friend to lots of people; really, I think she could have moved in with someone. But she opted for a solo apartment where she could get some help.
You probably know what happened as the virus spread - everyone in assisted living had to STAY INSIDE.
Oh boy. Poor Peggy. I mean, we are talking about a social icon here!
I know she had some lonely times. Turner Classic Movies and the occasional phone call helped keep her going, but her first choice is going out to the movies, going out to brunch. She mentioned the difficulty of staying inside and sticking it out.
Peggy carried some COVID risk factors. She was born during the Great Depression for one thing, she’s no spring chicken. And she’s not in the best physical shape either.
Late in 2020 she hurt her wrist. It required attention from many professionals, and somewhere in the midst of that she tested positive for COVID.
I think she believed it was the end. There were severe symptoms. I wasn’t optimistic, either.
The truth is her life had already been a rich story: travel, friendship, career, kaleidoscopic history all around.
Now I talked to Peggy just a few days ago. She was cheerful and energetic. Against serious odds, she’s managed to pull through. It’s a small miracle.
But what really struck me was something she said.
“It seems I have some more things to do.”
Such a short sentence, I know.
But you had to hear the fabric of her voice, the tone, the delivery. There was wonder, and gratitude.
Do you feel wonder today? You’ve lived an outrageous experience this year, something historians will discuss even decades into the future.
But yes, sometimes we felt alone.
As Peggy exemplified, looking inside is the way back to feeling connected.
And it doesn’t require the extreme circumstances of her life. We can all practice looking inside.
Have you been vulnerable with anyone lately?
Have you asked anyone for help, or offered them your own attention?
Have you begun any sentences, “can I share a recent experience with you?”
It’s almost magical how we always have time to hear about someone’s real life, as magical as the effects of doing the sharing.
Aloneness is an illusion, but it is persistent. I hope you’re finding practices of connecting, no matter how imposing the illusion can be.
Be You! Beyond Anything! Create Magic! Live your ROAR®!
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