Updated: Mar 16, 2021
Dear March 2020,
It's been one year that you came with all of your beautiful sunrises and sunsets, however, accompanied by so much pain, trauma, and anxiety.
I have now spent over week hearing stories from my clients, where they have been able to process the pandemic's first anniversary and how they have been affected in mind, body, and spirit.
I have been so busy helping people process their feelings over this past year that I often wonder if I am processing my feelings enough. This helps, so here I am writing about how last March was genuinely terrifying was for many of us. I was terrified. It's been one year, and I am starting to feel more grounded.
March 2020 seems to be where everything we thought was normal would be turned upside down, and we were required to pivot. Some of us had to pivot more than others, showing the many disparities we might have never been aware of in this country and world.
We have all struggled, and it is hard not to feel like we need to compare who has suffered the most. However natural this might feel to compare our suffering to others, let us remember that this is an act of unhealthy narcissism. It is not healthy and instead continues to increase our suffering instead of it decreasing.
Rather than focusing on our pain, and comparing it to others, let us allow ourselves to let that go, so we have more room to be here for one another, to recover together. We all are victims of COVID, but we don't have to let COVID victimize our ability to grow and heal from this year.
We have a reason for so much optimism. Usually, towards the end of a battle, we find ourselves the most exhausted, most drained, and wanting to throw in the towel. It is so human for us to feel this way and want to feel good but not wait for things to play out. 2020 made instant gratification hard to accomplish, and let's not pretend we American's don't love and live for instant gratification.
We mustn't think that this pandemic has not changed us in some way or is currently isn't. It has affected us all. Finding a need to measure our pain is just a way towards denying our ability to accept reality and what our future existence will entail.
I feel the PTSD flashbacks from last March and everything since. From the week when my first client told me that she was sent home from her office to hearing, I needed to get toilet paper wherever it could be found. My already fast heartbeat became unbearably fast. I knew we were all feeling it all because we had to; it was that enormous of moments.
In my opinion, March 2020 has been the scariest month of the pandemic, and I hope it stays this way. I hope I have not put out a curse to the universe as I try to reflect on that very dark time. It's just that so much happened in March that made me feel impeded, traumatized, and feeling possibly scared of this year's March.
March 2020 was when the most unknowns of this pandemic seemed to be so raw, making us feel the most exposed, the most defenseless. It is difficult for us to be vulnerable in this society BC (Before COVID). Quite possibly, the pandemic has facilitated a renewed feeling of vulnerability we will allow to play out. Maybe AC (After COVID) we can take in all the resilience we had, helping us restore.
This March, I feel better and less chaotic, but still feeling the chaos. My clients feel the confusion; my dog does, my plants do, most of us. I want to find a way to enjoy what March offered BC so that after AC, I can enjoy March and its natural place in welcoming spring.
We have to remember we are only a year into experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, coupled with increasing social and political divisions that have also had a tremendous impact on our psyches. We have been isolated for a year, feeling disempowered, dumbfounded, and depleted.
Additionally, it is a time where not only a pandemic is happening, but we see it unfold in real-time all over the world. We have 24/7 hour news channels and Social Media, where it's made it even harder to escape the emotional turbulence. This makes everything much more challenging and harder to detach from. I wonder to think that in pandemics past, would television and social media made those pandemics more anxiety-producing?
I think it's essential to connect to how we are feeling now while choosing not to let the trauma of March 2020 define the future of March months to come. This doesn't seem very easy.
March this year continues to bloom, and I hope WE bloom with it this year. Blooming is our natural state, and hopefully, we will all feel things are getting lighter so we can be friends with March. I want to be friends with March. I want to connect over the budding flowers, the shorter days, and the feeling of rejuvenation: the long walks and the iced coffee.
I don't want to relate to feeling overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, and feeling hopeless. Fear was never a part of all the 35 years other March's I have lived throughout my lifetime.
I choose to see how this March folds out, knowing that although most of us are still emotionally reeling, it is a more illuminated time. We have optimism again to be grateful for and a less harsh environment to match. We still have healing to do, but it has to start with being aware. Being mindful is an act of recovery, telling you that you want to heal and move on.
Instead of asking you to reflect further on the past year, I want us all to be allowed to think more about AC times. There will be an AC period where we still won't know what's in store for us, but we know that we have the strength to keep going and that in itself, it is a lesson beyond value.
It has been a year; we have all been in shock or awe, for the most part, just finding a way to survive the terror. I am wholeheartedly encouraging us not to glump 2020 and its experiences into the coming months and years ahead of us. There is a way to hold space for all the misery and discomfort we have had without it being more of a block by forboding our ability to be optimistic, to be happy.
I wish everyone a peaceful last few weeks of March 2021, and please be safe, knowing that we are closer to feeling better than not. March 2021 has its challenges, and let us just be focused on what's in our windshield as we continue to navigate. If we focus too much on the rearview mirror while driving, we will surely end up suffering more. Who needs that?
So to you, March 2021, please continue to be gentler while knowing we are doing the best to cope with uncertainties. We have been through a lot, and we know that March 2020, you didn't mean to be so traumatizing, but you were.
To Marching On With Optimism,