• rebasgr8

I'm grateful for COVID.

Updated: Jun 12

I know I am lucky to have come out of this pretty much unscathed, so far, and of course, my heart goes out to the 385K lives lost so far in the US alone. I acknowledge the grief and many hardships brought on by COVID, and I'd turn back time if I could. But we are here, and with all things in life, there's duality.

While families hunkered down together, I was put into a pseudo solitary confinement with my only family on the opposite side of the nation and no partner to shack up with. All my dance goals and my busy social life came to a screeching halt. I spent endless days in nature by myself with my dog, Homer, learned to meditate, went on a spiritual journey, and learned I was more introverted than I had once thought. Most importantly, everything in my world suddenly became crystal clear, and I reached a state of sustained happiness, pure joy. For these things, I'm grateful.

I have always been that girl with too much on her plate, and by Thursday, in the off chance I had no plans for the weekend, rather than rejoicing in the opportunity to go within, I felt lonely, maybe even insignificant. I knew these feelings weren't healthy but not fully understanding the source of my woes, the pattern continued year after year. I felt recharged when I spent time around other people and would always choose a roommate over being alone. I took the full Myers-Briggs Personality Test in college and a few free versions post college, and always, I was placed mid-way along the "extroversion" scale. Would my scores be different now? Can we vacillate between extroversion and introversion depending on where we are in our lives? According to personality research over the past few years, some scientists are starting to look at personality as dynamic, changing over time, at least for some people. However, I want to take that one step further and ask the question: Is personality linked to ego, our thoughts, rather than our soul? If so, would personality tests loose their validity as one becomes more aware? I'm not sure, but it sure would be interesting to take that test again. Most importantly, I'm most grateful for this new awareness and the peace I've found.

“The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.” Eckhart Tolle

When the COVID shut down started, I thought I had been given the short stick as a single person. Although little did I know at the time, I had been handed a rare opportunity. With this time to reflect and go inward, I started to see that all the men in my past were there for a reason, to teach me something, while none of them was the right one for me... well, maybe not so true. My first was the love of my life. I just wasn't ready to handle our difficulties. Okay, so yes, I knew most of this already, that none of them was the right one, but I never fully understood why I had chosen these particular men. I had some very valid theories, including seeking the thing I didn't get from the last. An example would be jumping from the one who criticized me to the one who put me on a pedestal. Other theories were learned from years of therapy, including finding men who reminded me of my dad as I searched for the love and acknowledgement I never received through them. There were many more theories learned from therapy and a plethora of shitty dating manuals but none of these things was a cure. I had even convinced myself that I didn't really "need" anyone; I just "wanted" someone. Call it Karma, torture or self-inflicted harm, I kept going and going with one disappointment after the next until I broke. I went 6 years without a boyfriend. Six years! Me, the one who had almost always had a long-term boyfriend, went 6 years alone. I was still searching, however, had joined all the major online dating sites and had gone on hundreds and hundreds of dates, but no one ever made the cut. My friends told me I was too picky. I thought maybe it was just too late for me. Maybe my time had passed... but then, COVID came. I learned some of the most important lessons of my life and didn't have to pay a dime for therapy.

I learned it was me getting in my own way. My mind had been clogged with thoughts and past therapy and self help books had only added more thoughts. When the thoughts stopped, the awareness came. I learned what I had really been doing with each of those men. Personally, I think it's just Karma. It's Karma until you become aware of what you're doing. Now, the urgency is gone and time is starting to wind down. The days seem longer and the present is joyful. I have other priorities and no longer crave companionship like I crave chocolate. For these things, I am grateful.

For these things I am grateful. Thank you, COVID.

PS: I did have a pretty big set back on May 31st when the protests started. I'm not going to lie; it wasn't pretty. It lasted a while, but I'm starting to find my groove again.


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