Recently, someone with the symptoms of Covid-19 failed to disclose their symptoms prior to participating in a socially distanced yoga class. As a member of that class and learning of the symptoms afterward, I was put in a challenging position. I was supposed to interact with hundreds of people in the coming week (while wearing a mask), but didn’t feel like doing so would be socially responsible given my exposure to someone with symptoms. So, upon returning home, I hit pause on my social and professional “in-person” responsibilities and isolated myself until I can get tested. That part is challenging but manageable. But isolating from my wife and children, that is proving to offer me a growth edge.
If you have read The Five Love Languages, you are familiar with the idea that everyone has a primary “love language,” or the way they give and receive love. My primary language is definitely touch. I can often be heard saying, “I am a hugger.” To be camping in my back yard and effectively out of the daily routines and joys of family life has left me feeling incomplete. Interestingly, the hard part isn’t missing the giving and receiving of touch. The work is in recognizing that for most of my life I have identified touch as a way of confirming that I am loved and accepted. The work is in sitting with the notion that I can be loved and accepted without proximity to another human, without the hug from my child or spouse. The real work is in loving and accepting myself the way I am – in creating space in my heart, mind, and body for others to be as they are.
To be fair, this isn’t the first recognition of the work that I continue to engage with. This has been a journey of discovery and growth sparked by my work as a coach, as a facilitator, as a parent, and as a partner. The messiness of it all is something that I tended to avoid for a long time. In 2011, during a divorce, I realized that it was the messiness that needed embracing, not shunning.
While I am not a fan of isolation (for any reason), I am a fan of solitude. I choose to use this time for reflection, meditation, deep focus on my professional and personal work, and gratitude. I am grateful for all those who have recognized my vulnerability and held me with honor and dignity, rather than with pity and judgment. In many ways I am strong; in equally many ways my weaknesses peak through. Regardless, I am fully human, and by the nature of my humanity, perfect in my imperfection. Thank you to all those who have shown me love, even when I didn’t interpret it as such.
For those of you isolated from COVID, I pray you find peace in solitude – in the blessing of time spent in reflection, growth, and gratitude. Be strong. You are perfect in your imperfection. You are not alone. The team and Move Mountains would love to hear from you and learn more about your journey. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. What’s the growth edge you are living in right now?