Have you been feeling like things are sliding back to “normal”? For example, your calendar is getting more full, you are going out and doing things you might not have done for a year, you are seeing people again, some may even be taking their masks off when outside or with other vaccinated people….

I’ve been seeing this happen. And, I’ve been wondering, “how can I just slide back?”

Have you been wondering that, too?

A few friends and clients have mentioned to me that they still have a lot of fear and uneasiness about things going back to the way they used to be. Going back to the grocery store, going back to the office, going back…

I want you to know to take it slow and take it easy on yourself.

We have all been through a pandemic. This is no small thing. It has been traumatic in so many ways. We were living in a state of fear of getting sick, so we were afraid to be near others, to touch anything, to just be. Or, maybe we got sick, survived, but are now dealing with recovery in bodies that no longer breathe easy or function like they used to. We were isolated. We felt alone. We felt disconnected.

So often, we pushed down our emotions to not feel the pain of isolation and fear. We allowed ourselves to drown out our feelings so that we could survive the moment…

We yearned for things to be back to normal, but now, well, maybe we are afraid of it.

I saw this beautiful flower blossoming on a very prickly cactus today, and it reminded me of getting back to life “out in the world.”

I’m still feeling a bit prickly. Very cautious. Still wearing my mask, still using hand sanitizer. But, I’m curious and hopeful that I can be around people again now that I am vaccinated. So, I’m going to go back slowly. Step by step, breath by breath.

Like the flower blossoms on the cactus, slowly it opens up each petal until it is in full bloom. It takes it’s time. It isn’t in a hurry.

***So, try this with me. Go at your own pace. Breathe. If you find yourself stressed and unsure, feel your feet standing on the ground and breathe. One step at a time. Allow yourself to feel the sensations that come to you, bit by bit. And breathe.***

It is going to take time to recover from the trauma of the pandemic (which, isn’t over yet, but we are getting closer). We are all going to need it. When we rush through it, saying things are fine and back to normal, we ignore our feelings and it may take even longer to heal and feel whole again. Like the cactus flower, allow yourself to blossom slowly.

“Trauma involves a lifelong pushing down, a tremendous expenditure of energy… to not feeling the pain. As we heal, that same energy is liberated for life and for being in the present. So, the energy of trauma can be transformed into the energy of life.”

– Dr. Gabor Mate, The Wisdom of Trauma

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