Monthly Archives: July 2020
Here’s a question for you, now that we’re a little halfway through this mishigas of a year: what does “normal” even mean anymore?
I won’t quote dictionaries at you; you know better than anyone else what normal looks like for you. As humans, we’re simple creatures of habit. We get into routines, we set our own boundaries, we develop preferences and nurture them. We create our normal, settle in and get comfortable — and then along comes a pandemic to throw everything into the air like so many juggling balls.
We talk about shame in the singular quite a bit, don’t we? Sometimes we partner it with guilt (though, as we’ve said before, we do make sure to separate the two), but shame rarely works alone. That’s because it tends to create more problems and delay healing others.
Here are some studies that tell the tale — or some important new pieces of it:
Have you ever walked into a room full of people and immediately doubted your right to be there? Or stared at yourself in a dressing room, convinced you were looking into a funhouse mirror? Did you ever wonder if everyone around you could tell you were faking it (whatever “it” is), and that at any moment, they’d call you out as a phony?
It’s hard enough existing in the unforgiving public eye, let alone when we carry that punishing and often cruel perspective into our most private spaces. And I don’t just mean our houses — I mean our hearts, souls, minds, bodies, and spirits.
Midway through 2020, I still feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Between the Australian wildfires, the rageful political rhetoric, economic distress, the anticipated spread of the sneakiest virus ever, and…
Oh, wait — that was just January.
Okay. Needless to say, we’ve all had a lot on our plates, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been arguably our greatest underlying source of anxiety, frustration, disorientation, anger, depression, fear, and irritability.