Updated: Apr 1, 2022
How through a friend's challenge, I was brought to my own peace.
Quarantine has been really difficult. Let's be honest, It was difficult before it even really began. Having to have tough conversations with loved ones about social distancing is the last thing any high energy extrovert wants to have to do. It's the first weekend of no in-person human contact for me which started off not so bad. After some solid reading and journaling time this morning in my hammock set up out back, a great pancake breakfast (because Saturday duh) I was feeling pretty okay.
Then by like noon I had had enough. Insert emotional breakdown on my couch as I tried to work through a puzzle I was frustrated with and didn't want to do alone. During this mid-day breakdown, a friend reached out about experiencing anxiety through this social distancing situation. My immediate response was that I was feeling the same way. But then, I realized something profound that turned my perspective around. I wasn't anxious. Was I frustrated? Yes. Was I bored? Freaking yes. Did I feel like there was no way I could get through this weekend sanely without some human contact? I did.
But taking a pause, deep down I felt quiet peace.
A peace that showed me how much I have grown, how much my fears of being alone seemed to have calmed. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't suddenly feel all happy and excited about endless amounts of alone time. It's still not something I would choose on my own. But it brought me this sense of a victory to know that I am okay. I can be okay in the presence of just myself.
This peace of course did not come from my own strength or power. And it certainly did not happen all at once. As I further reflected and am even still processing now by typing, I can see how God has been teaching me to be okay me. To celebrate who I am defined by who He is, nothing else. Most importantly, he's been teaching me to be alone in stillness with Him. He opened my eyes to how the continuous quiet time spent with Him each morning over the last year (okay almost every morning.. getting up is hard sometimes guys) has trained me to seek Him in times of loneliness. To seek Him when I don't understand. To seek Him when I don't see why the heck I have to stay away from the people who bring me so much joy and literally give me life. Alone time, I've realized, is not a waste of time as I use to think. But an opportunity to learn more about my amazing God and the human He created me to be.
Now Let's Go Do Something
I want to encourage anyone experiencing stress / anxiety, frustration, crazy boredom or even rejection as the number of people we can see continues to dwindle. Find something that brings you joy. It doesn't have to be for a real purpose, don't make it about anyone else. Just something that you want to do and GO DO IT. Whether it be repotting those plants you've been looking at all winter bursting out of their homes, reading that book covered in dust on the shelf you keep saying you'll make time for or baking the latest inspired creation from the Great British Bake Off. Make it fun and make it yours.