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COVID Reflection: Processing Grief and Desire Amidst Unforeseen Change

April 06, 2020

By: Brooke Davidson // @brooke_being

 

When COVID began to sweep the United States, it felt a bit surreal and dramatic to many. Isn’t it just a strain of the flu? What’s the big deal here? As things progressed, though, we started to see a daily change to both the situation as well as folks’ perception of it. Many of us have been immersed in socially distant communities for a couple weeks now, and are starting to realize that this may very well last for much longer than initially thought. What we’re ultimately finding ourselves in is a whole new world, and as with any big change, there are bound to be psychological impacts. Here are some of the common things you might be experiencing as well as a couple practices to help you embrace and understand that experience.

 

1. Grief

There is a good chance that you are grieving aspects of your pre-COVID life. Whether it be how your job looked (or even having job security at all!), going out to eat, attending classes where you could use the specialized equipment at the gym, or just dropping by to see your friends, your life has undoubtedly shifted in significant ways these past few weeks. As a result, you may find yourself grieving the loss of how things were.

First off, THAT IS OKAY. This is a completely normal human response. In fact, if you’ve ever moved you’ve probably experienced this to an extent: grief over the loss of that place you had called home. Grieving pre-COVID life is a similar experience, and it deserves your attention. Let yourself feel it. Take a moment to sit in stillness and either think or journal about what it is you miss. Breathe deeply, and notice where in your body you feel the grief most. Direct your breath to that place, trying to soften on every exhale. You might gently remind yourself, “It’s okay to feel this. This, too, is part of my experience. This, too.”

Creating space to truly feel your grief will help you accept and process it. You are a resilient human, and you will adapt to this temporary chaos.

 

2. Desire

Different from grief, desire pertains to what has not yet happened - what does not (yet) exist - but for which you long. In Buddhism, desire is one of the 5 kleshas: the roots of pain and suffering. The idea is that desiring something keeps us from engaging in the present moment; we long for what IS NOT, and therefore disengage with what IS.

This is a huge one right now: cancelled vacations, postponed weddings, a halt in hiring for nearly every job… we are finding ourselves in a place that no one could have foreseen, and as a result our plans and dreams have been squelched right in front of our eyes. This is a moment wherein we can, as mentioned above, grieve. It’s also a moment, however, wherein we must drop our attachment to outcome and show up for the situation that is.

If you find yourself feeling these sensations of longing / desire, then again take a moment to sit and process it. Notice when you find yourself indulging in “what if” or “if only”. In those moments, pause. Take a few deep breaths, again noticing where you feel this in your body and directing your breath to that location. It can help to repeat the mantra “It’s like this now” as a reminder that your current experience, temporary though it may be, is all that you have. It is only in this reality that you can act with any power.

Ultimately, acknowledging your experience of grief and/or desire will allow you to fully engage in the present moment. It’s okay to feel these things. It is normal to feel these things. But until you understand these things, you will be beholden to them. Process these experiences and set yourself free.

 

 

Brooke is a contributing author for Tada Rugs. Tada Rugs is a 5x7 yoga mat disguised as an artistic area rug that you never have to put away. Tada is short for tadasana, or mountain pose, and our own backyard in the San Juan Mountains of Durango, Colorado is where we find our inspiration. Check out our new designs, enter for a chance to win a new Tada Rug, and be sure to follow us for deals and insider specials! Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, or contact us through our website! Tie a room together and bring your practice home.



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