It seems the under statement of the day to say we are in extraordinary times. Covid 19 has ended the world we once knew and has replaced it with such change and loss for us individually, but also collectively.
The way we interact with one another, how we work, who we interact with and for how long become ideas we are aware of now and having to consider the impacts of this.
For some of us in New Zealand, life may have resumed in Level 1 quite seamlessly. However , for many, this will now be an ongoing added grief to experience and consider. For example, to name a few I am thinking of those who are physically unwell and compromised, including our parents or grandparents who are 65 years plus.
Then there is the ripple effects our lock down has created, are multi layered. Like loss of jobs, break down of relationships, loss of finances, loss of sense of identity, loss of security, belonging, sense of certainty in some areas of our lives. On top of this we lost our loved ones to death, we may have lost the opportunity to gather and grieve as we once did and needed. Some of us may feel more anxious and lost the sense of control. Some of us are working more and have lost the sense of peace and stillness.
So, what I am saying is loss is the death or ending of what we once knew, experienced, loved, enjoyed, needed and gave us meaning. We are now having to process this reality. This is what we call the grieving process.
It seems important for me to encourage and warn, in the spirit of loving and caring for one another, please do not fall into the trap of comparing grief or judging our grief with one another. This judgement demands punishment. David Kessler, Finding Meaning; The sixth stage of Grief, 2019. We will find ourselves judging and feeling judged, this becomes another wounding and complicates the grief.
Your loss is the most painful loss and thats that.
So, this leaves me thinking how do we care and love one another when we are all experiencing our own pain and loss in so many ways? David Kessler speaking on Brene Brown Podcast introduced a beautiful allegory that demonstrates how we are to nourish, care and love one another , even when we are feeling loss and pain also.
It is called the Allegory of the Long spoons.
A man was once taken on a tour of hell and was surprised by what he saw: All hell’s inhabitants sat at long tables in a dining room, spoons in their hands, the best smelling and best looking food to have ever graced a dining room filled the air with an exquisite aroma.
But all the diners’ arms were tied to slats of wood that kept their arms extended. In this position, the poor souls were unable to bend the spoons to their mouths.
Hell was filled with the hungry, tortured by the fact that they were so close to the most amazing food imaginable and yet could not eat it.
Then the man visited heaven and found the same scenario. Long tables, hungry souls, strapped arms, unable to bend their hands to their mouths to eat.
But there was a profound difference.
The souls in heaven sat across from each other, not trying to feed themselves, but trying to feed the person sitting across from them.
You see, the difference between heaven and hell, it might be said, is that the inhabitants of hell are concerned only for themselves. Heaven, on the other hand, is populated with people who spend their time serving each other.
May you find one small way to serve another and feel the touch of heaven in your Soul in that moment.