Mid-April 2020 Newsletter
Hello, and a masterful astounding Mid-April to you!
Connection and solitude
Welcome, or welcome back, to my newsletter.
Today's issue is about connection and solitude.
The current world-wide pandemic has many folks staying at home, when they're
used to being out and about, mingling with other people, for most of the day.
With social events and other gatherings canceled, and clubs and restaurants
closed except for limited take-out, extroverted people may be starting to feel caged
or trapped. On the other hand, introverted folks who welcome the justification to stay home,
enjoying the solitude and quiet, might feel flooded with the increase in on-line communication!
Even though I can be friendly and engaged when with a close pal or small group where I know everyone well,
I crave my Alone Time. I could spend days without seeing another human and not be lonely. So a big part of my
personal growth work in recent years has been to practice reaching out and connecting with others. I've
often thought I have a hefty dose of Hermit in my nature, and need to balance that with learning to
become more sociable.
The challenge for me now, in this time when we are being urged to stay away from others, is to not take that
as permission to be a recluse. I could read for hours every single day, only going out of the house for neighborhood walks
where those I encounter veer away and just wave, or for one quick weekly trip to the grocery store. I am tempted to
refuse every single invitation to join an on-line group or class or chat, and to only give cursory replies
to emails and messages from folks I don't know that well, or haven't heard from in years. Am I regressing to my
earlier days of being too solitary?
No, this doesn't feel like retreat, as much as a new stage in my growth. My steady partner is here with me for most
of every day, though he may be at the other end of the house, or upstairs working out while I'm downstairs writing.
I have the best of both worlds, alone when I want to be and together with the person I care about most when I want
company. And it's great exercise for our negotiating muscles when one of us wants to be together and the other doesn't!
About all those on-line invitations -- I don't want to accept most of them, filling up my precious time with
something that either doesn't interest me or I already know. Nor do I want to reject everything, as some gatherings
may add to my knowledge base, or provide me with nourishing new connections with like-minded souls. Discerning
the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, is sometimes necessary in my personal communication too, like when a friend
wants to go on and on about the horrors of the pandemic or the up-to-the-minute death statistics. This isn't
helpful to either of us.
The lesson of this virus for me so far seems like it's about balance, and priorities. Enough sleep, enough activity.
Enough time alone, enough time with others. Enough work, enough leisure. The picture of "energy hands", connecting
deeply though not touching physically, reminds me of what we all need right now. Being united with others is essential
if we are to thrive, yet we don't want to contract an infection, or unknowingly spread it. So non-physical contact
seems the wisest, which could just be you thinking of a friend, and then she calls you on the phone! Please make sure
you get both the solitude and the safe companionship you need to thrive.
To read a dream about time apart to regroup,
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You're helping many other people!
Enjoy the remainder of this abundant month of April.
I'll write again in a few weeks. Take care!