Let’s face it, if you have an autoimmune disease that limits your life, you are used to feeling isolated. And if you have had the disease long enough, you have learned how to cope with isolation. But for many of us, the holidays are a time when we store up our energy and jump into a fun-filled holiday season to be with the people we love. This year is different. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, we are not gathering so that we can stay safe. However, a small holiday does not equal small love!
From Self-Compassion to Shared Compassion
The first step in accepting a period of isolation is to have self-compassion. I embraced this concept many years ago and it changed the way I spent time alone. Self-compassion guided me out of depression. I then realized that this extra time was an opportunity to learn more. So I decided to put my love of learning to work so I could move forward. I dove into research to improve my career, to improve myself, and to simply learn new things. I am a child of the tech industry, so luckily, I already knew how to access people on Zoom and other communication platforms. And this allowed me to connect with people on a variety of topics.
When Covid-19 spread into a global pandemic and the world was told to isolate, my first thought was, “I’ve got this! I can do this in my sleep and I will be safe”. After several months of isolation and a declining economy, I turned my attention to compassion for others. I remembered how terrible the isolation was during my early major flare-ups and I felt deep compassion for those who experienced that feeling for the first time. After many months of global isolation, I knew that a huge number of people would sink into depression and that climbing out will take time and a toll on the world.
My heart cracked open! I felt compassion and love for all. I have taken a personal journey from isolation to depression and out the other side, but having millions of humans doing this at the same time is heart-wrenching. And there will be an impact on the world long-after the vaccine has swatted Covid-19 down. I am worried about the world of souls and how they, and the collective “we”, will rise.
We Are All Connected, and That’s a Good Thing
This shared experience of the pandemic has connected all humans across the globe like no other event in history. And although kept apart physically, I believe we are all connected like no other time. This is a silver lining! I hope we can turn this shared experience into long-term change.
I know you, too, have thought about how isolation has affected others you know, and those you don’t know. Sending compassion into the world is a loving energy that can make a difference. And loving energy can heal.
As Einstein said, “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”
If you are able, consider turning your thoughts into a different kind of energy that can heal. Start with self-compassion, and if you can, expand to compassion for your family, neighborhood, and so on… At a minimum, it can change our own energy. That’s where all change starts! Now is an excellent time to, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”1.
My Holiday Wish For You
I hope you agree that a small holiday (personally) does not equal small love. This holiday, my wish for you is to gather small, love big, and stay well! If you are celebrating alone, know that I am thinking of you and sending love. And join me in sending love and compassion into the world so we can change the present energy in a positive direction.
If stress has caused a flare, I have some tips in my post When major Grief and Autoimmune Disease Collide. If you are curious about the Covid-19 Vaccine, read how the Sjogren’s Foundation is addressing questions specifically for Sjogren’s and autoimmune patients.
- Often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, but written by Arlene Lorrance.