Somehow we all seem to be looking forward to this summer even more than past ones. We are craving the company of friends, the stimulation of travel and the soothing benefits of spending time in nature and being more active. Bring it on!
But…there is also an element of loss. Perhaps even losses (and their future impacts) we do not yet fully comprehend. The friends that dropped out of our lives, the opportunities we did not have the energy to embrace, the commitments we did not have the will to follow through on, the creative projects we did not nurture…. Alongside these however, there was more solitude, more reflection and more getting to understand our capacity for change and resilience IF we allowed ourselves to spend some time with our own forms of suffering.
In her book, The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change, Pauline Boss invites us to embrace the “paradox of presence and absence” we are always holding as we move through our lives. Whatever is absent can be balanced by whatever is present and vice versa. When isolation is present, some of the pressures of life can be absent as certain obligations disappear. When our normal routine is absent, a space is created for something new to show up in our world.
The invitation is to live in the middle and move with the ebb and flow of change. This flexibility cultivates the resilience that is required to ride the wave of (post pandemic?) change and do more than simply survive. We can learn to adapt and grow as we explore the middle path between absence and presence, learn to live with loss and move into a more authentic place in our world.