“Finding the lesson behind every adversity will be the one important thing that helps get you through it.” ― Roy T. Bennett
Somebody tweeted the other day that if we don’t use our time on lockdown to learn a new skill, start a “side hustle” and gain more knowledge, we lack self-discipline.
I have a problem with this kind of thinking.
My bingeing days may be well behind me but, like many people who binge eat, I have a tendency towards busyness and achievement.
Doing a lot is a way of avoiding what’s going on inside us. Keeping busy means we don’t have to spend time with ourselves. We don’t want to stop in case we get in touch with a sense of inner emptiness.
But we don’t repair the emptiness by doing stuff.
We don’t heal with avoidance.
As I’m fortunate not to be on the frontline in the fight against Covid-19, what lockdown has given me is a chance to just be.
When I’m not working, I’m finding myself spending quiet moments.
In direct contrast to that tweet, I’m managing to push away the part of me that says “you should be doing something” and, for once, I’ve found the permission just to sit with myself.
The sense of pleasure, relief and connection it gives me is bliss.
I don’t want to give you the impression I’m achieving some constant Zen-like state of inner peace. I’m just allowing myself to slow down and be present much more often.
And, when life returns to some sort of normality, I want to ensure I retain these treasured moments.
While there are clearly wider lessons for us to learn at this time, there are small, individual lessons too.
This is mine.
I don’t need a new skill or a side hustle, thanks very much.
I don’t have to be doing.
I’m learning just to be.
That’s my lockdown lesson and that’s enough.