I was just listening to a podcast and a caller question got my attention. Basically, the caller wanted to know how to help his partner get over the grief of losing his father. The podcast host was kinder in his answer than the one that popped into my head, which is: You can’t.
You can’t fix anyone else. It’s impossibleossible. Grief, emotional damage, trauma, etc.: these cannot be fixed by other people. Emotional pain can only be healed by the person suffering it; if they refuse to do the work there will be no healing.
What you can do for others is provide them the support and provide an environment they need. In order to process the pain, they will need to ability to freely feel whatever comes up. The ability to talk about what they are feeling is essential. They will need to be able to go through this with no judgement.
Everyone has their own timing on how, when and where to feel and work through their pain. When and where are not entirely in their control. They will need your support whenever and wherever these emotions come up. It is not always going to be convenient.
Don’t try to fix or get your loved ones over it. That’s frustrating and unhelpful. It may even add to or prolong what they’re going through. Just be there for them in whatever capacity they need (within reason). Your support is what you part in this is.
I’ve more or less been holed up in my apartment for three weeks now socially isolating. I leave the house to walk the dog several times a day which keeps cabin fever at bay. I’m limiting my grocery runs to once a week. SARS-CoV-2 is expected to peak in the next few weeks and I will do my best to go nowhere unless needed and I laid in supplies this last weekend.
That being said – I want rye bread.
I noticed liverwurst in my fridge and now all I want is a loaf of rye bread to make a sandwich. My grocery store is less than a mile away. I could walk there and get rye bread. With the spread of the virus it seems irresponsible to go to the store just for rye bread while I have more than two weeks of food in my apartment.
This led me to think about instant gratification. I wasn’t aware of how subconsciously used to it I’ve become: running to the store on a whim, take-out delivery and overnight delivery. Everything I want when and where I want it. I have even gotten upset when something I didn’t really need didn’t arrive in the two-day window I was “promised”
I have no concept deprivation and waiting. It’s doubtful I know anyone who does. With the world going topsy-turvy I’m learning lessons I wasn’t aware I needed.
Stores are barely keeping up with people’s hording instincts and I need to adjust my desires to match what’s available. The big online stores are giving delivery dates of a month and not the normal next day allowing me to rethink my orders and make do with what I have on hand.
It’s also just irresponsible to go out to the store to satisfy every whim. Do I want a liverwurst sandwich on rye? Yes, yes I do. Writing this makes me want it more. Do I need a liverwurst sandwich on rye? By all objective measures – no; no I do not. Are most of the things I have ever wanted in my life needs that were required instantly – most likely no.
I will be isolating for at three more weeks from the looks of things. There will be many whims I want to satisfy in this time. These whims need to be paid attention to, analyzed and learned from. With concentration I can take the lessons from this unprecedented period in history and unlearn my reliance on instant gratification.
In an attempt to keep myself occupied, I signed up for an improv comedy class. I was scared, insecure and nervous. Last Saturday was my class recital – before an actual audience. And. I. LOVED. It. It was a rush.
For having a self-described fear of public speaking, I loved being up there. Not only did I perform, but I wound up being the spokesman for the class that night. I tried to NOT be the spokesman by doing “not it”, but no one else said it so I was the one. Truth be told, I’m glad I did that, too. Ultimately I want to be out there.
Looking at myself with an open eye, it comes as no surprise that I like it. I like making a fool of myself. I make up things regularly in order to try and be amusing. Improv is just pretty much me. Now to learn how do actually do it as opposed to just being an idiot with my friends.
Level two classes are set to start and I have signed up for mixed troupes under my theaters umbrella called “Protostar”. It is going to be a lot of work, but it should be with any craft. I have started listen to a podcast on improv and even the people out of improv that have made it have put a LOT of work in. No one seems to be a natural.
I know at 48 that there is all but no chance of going anywhere with this. But right now I love it and will keep at it; working and listening and studying. I will also be making a fool of myself on stage whenever I can.