09 Apr 2020

Cocooning, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I wrote about choosing to use the word “cocoon” instead of quarantine.  I chose this word, not because it’s cute or has a feel-good ending, but because it acknowledges a process.  The caterpillar doesn’t skip any stages of metamorphosis in becoming a butterfly.  (If you want to know more about why I chose this word – click here: https://karencrowlifecoach.com/cocooning/ ). 

I took a few weeks off from writing and posting on FB, because, quite frankly, I haven’t wanted to spend much time there.  Emotions are extreme on both ends of the spectrum and I found myself feeling sensitive to both.  So, I began to limit my news and social media time.  I stepped back from watching the ripple effect of the devastation this virus is causing in our world and people telling one another not to be scared, not to panic, have positive thoughts and just be grateful. 

It surprised me a little how I recoiled from people’s positivity posts and “challenges”.   I was amazed at how quickly they popped up, as if to warn me of feeling what I thought was natural.  Also, while I appreciated the effort in helping the collective stay focused on the positive, and it’s my intention to stay focused on the good in the world, it is also not my intention to fear feeling frustration and sadness.  Avoiding these feelings, denying their existence, would be like denying my humanity.  What most of us are experiencing right now is grief, and grief is a process.

I dislike it very much when people tell me how to think and feel, and I do my best not to tell my family, friends or clients how to think or feel either.  People experience life from their own perspective, and it’s not up to me to tell someone how to live.  It’s up to me to stay in my lane and be of service to others.

So, in addition to increasing self-care, taking care of what needs to be done at home, and enjoying some carefree time with my family, I also feel what I feel when I’m feeling it.  I know that as much as it sucks in the moment to feel anger or sorrow, when I do, I learn and grow and become stronger because of it.  And when I’m ready to move on, I acknowledge the other truth, which is – there’s a lot of good going on in the world right now, and there’s so much to be grateful for. 

I continue to tell myself “I get to”.  This is a true statement, and it brings me back to the present and what I can control.  There are many people who don’t get to stay at home right now, and I do.  This is how I’m being asked to serve everyone in my community.  Saying “I get to” opens the door for gratitude and opportunity.  I keep a gratitude jar on the kitchen table for each family member to contribute to daily and it’s starting to overflow.  And with the time I have available right now, there’s opportunity for things that I often take for granted.  Opportunity to connect more deeply with my family.  Opportunity to simplify.  Opportunity to be creative.  Opportunity to be part of the solution.  Opportunity to let go of what no longer serves me.

Yep, it’s still pretty goopy right now.  (Again, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, read my last blog post).  And, as Martha Beck has said many times “the caterpillar cannot even imagine the butterfly.”  I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that my track record for getting through hard things is 100%, and my ability to show compassion and be empathetic grows when I allow myself to be vulnerable as I navigate through the mess.

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