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“We’re all in this together.” – headline of this week’s People magazine
It’s funny, isn’t it? While we are keeping ourselves apart from one another as never before, it’s also true that we have never, at least on a global scale, ever been so very “all in this together.” This virus knows no bounds. Nationality, income level, gender, political persuasion, race, education, age – it doesn’t matter who you are or where you live – we are all feeling its impact.
We are each being impacted differently by this pandemic
This virus is touching each of our lives in unique, intimate ways. Your house might feel overcrowded and your WiFi over-taxed. Or your loved ones might be scattered, leaving you wishing you were together under one roof. You might be yearning to go into the office or desperately jealous of everyone who gets to work from home. You might have a lazy cat curled up on your lap all day or stir-crazed dogs pacing from window to window.
You might have missed a funeral. You might not be able to take your mom to her chemo sessions as you’ve been doing for months. You might be sitting at home worrying about whether you will qualify for unemployment. You might be wondering if your favorite restaurant and favorite server will still be there when all this is over.
You might be overwhelmed by sadness every time you turn on your laptop to attend virtual church. Or awash in gratitude that your therapist or yoga teacher are offering online sessions. You might feel afraid. Or lonely. Or angry. Or you might feel weird for feeling none of those emotions. Your house might be the cleanest it’s ever been. Or not.
We are each also sharing a global experience
Despite the billions of individual ways that we are each being impacted by this virus, it remains that we are sharing a global experience. In other words, People magazine has it right: “We are all in this together,” and coming together, albeit at a safe distance or even virtually, is absolutely life-giving.
Innovative ways of being together
What do these new types of community look like? Again, the possibilities are nearly endless. I’ll give you some snapshots from my own experience. Mostly, if I think about it too much, I find that I’m living a life reminiscent of scenes from The Jetsons.
- My extended family of fifteen (ages 14-82) gathered three generations for a virtual family reunion and spent two hours together laughing and goofing off via a Zoom conference call.
- I am still meeting for spiritual direction with groups and individuals (as well as with my own director) and have discovered that these meetings are as meaningful as ever though we are no longer in the same room.
- We have met up with friends (some who live across the country) virtually several times in the last two weeks and ended our FaceTime calls feeling as refreshed and happy as if we’d spent that time sitting across a table in the real world.
- I started offering live stream yoga classes this week and found that practicing in virtual community feels almost as energizing and supportive as being in the same room.
- I’ve noticed my husband and I become very mindful of being in touch much more regularly with our two away-from home kids and our extended family.
- As often as possible, I’m taking walks around my town. Sometimes I’m walking (remarkably far apart) with a friend. Sometimes I’m spending way more time than usual chatting with people I see from across the street. Togetherness (even extra-spacious) has become something to be treasured.
Connection and community are more important than ever in our newly separated world
In short, it seems in this newly distant or separated world, connection is more important than ever.
As I wrote in my essay last week, we humans are social creatures. The need for togetherness is as fundamental to us as the need to move and to breathe. The ingenuity and creativity we’re showing as we reach out to connect during this crisis illustrates that drive.
Keep it up folks! Stay in touch! Reach out to someone you miss or someone you haven’t heard from. Maybe one of the lingering effects of this virus will be a good one – we will all have been reminded of how much we love and need to be together.
Need to connect? Yoga With Spirit is here for you virtually. In addition to my two video yoga classes, I am now teaching two live stream yoga classes each week as well as continuing to meet for spiritual direction via phone or laptop.