Like all of you, I’m staying at home as much as possible. I make an effort to keep up with constantly changing details as the scientists learn them in order to stay educated with what I can do to keep myself and others safe. But I am determined to not be so saturated with all the information that it takes over my life. So when I’m not connected to my reliable sources, I welcome the quiet time away from all sound, much more than I had in my pre-pandemic life.
I have always thought of myself as someone who is in touch with my emotions. But I’m learning that maybe not as much as I thought.
Lately my emotions are spilling out like seawater over hot lava, steaming up old memories that bubble up, unsolicited, that I haven’t recalled for years! Some make me smile and laugh, but some are painful and bring me to tears. On a 1-10 level of embarrassment related to crying/sobbing spontaneously - 1. Who cares? Who’s watching, anyway?
What I DO know, is that having this opportunity to just feel is, overall, having a surprisingly positive effect on me. I think that the “spilling" is splitting open deep cracks and crevices in my emotional being that may be painful at first, but can ultimately heal and help me grow as a person. So I’ve learned to not fight those feelings anymore. Now, and with a sigh, I welcome them.
A recent sad thought struck me - that it will be a long time before we can spontaneously hug one another. I don’t know about you, but I’m a “hugger.” I am fortunate - my husband and I hug frequently. I really feel for all those who live alone and don’t receive this wonderful human therapy every day. I saw somewhere that even though it’s not quite the same, you can hug yourself! Just grab your left shoulder with your right hand, and cross your left hand and grab your right shoulder, close your eyes, and… breathe. Think of a friend or loved one that you imagine yourself hugging. Or try this when having a phone conversation or video call with someone, and do it at the same time! For now, this is all we have.
Even though we are connected electronically, we still need each other, and touch is a basic, necessary human connection. Even just a handshake or a touch of a hand on a shoulder means so much, and yet we just cannot do that for the foreseeable future if we truly care for one another.
The lyrics to this song - again - just “jumped” into my head. I had learned this song on the piano in my pre-teen years from a “pop” song book. Then I heard Barbra sing it… WOW! She first sang it in the musical, “Funny Girl,” in 1965 which launched her career. “People” became her signature song for many decades to follow. Music by Jule Stein, lyrics by Bob Merrill.
Recently, Jennifer Lopez sang it for a “One World: Together at Home” a Global Citizen relief effort for Covid, which I share here. I think I love it just as much as Barbra’s.
I look forward to a new world when we can hug one another again.