A backward step precedes the next step forward, when dancing a cha cha on the dance floor. Experiencing ‘life’, these past few months, has felt like that.
At first, I resisted learning new steps required for a different daily dance. But, the music keeps playing - even when the rhythm and tune feels discordant and unfamiliar. I’ve learned, during this time … dance only requires a willingness to move to the music being played.
I recall the day our Prime Minister announced the decision of home based lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19. I was supportive of the reasoning but initially panicked at the thought of being on my own, with no physical touch from another human, for an uncertain length of time. But, I allowed myself to feel the ache of losing social connection and sit with the pain of what this meant for me, personally. As psychologist and author R,D. Laing says, “Pain in this life is not avoidable, but the pain we create avoiding pain is avoidable.”
Yes, being socially isolated felt uncomfortable but online video calling is a wonderful tool for connection. And separation from neighbours was the required physical distancing, only. I’ve learned, during this time … social isolating does not require social isolation.
Dr Henry Cloud talks about good pain and bad pain, “Good pain is pain that ends pain or increases pleasure.” Good pain is often the prerequisite to a pleasurable result. Think: childbirth, fitness goals, achieving career qualifications, resolving relationship conflicts, learning to ride a bike. I still savour that first hug I had with my daughter, after five weeks experiencing the loss and pain of physical human touch. The pleasurable result, in that moment, was precious and memorable.
I’ve learned, during this time … delayed gratification heightens the joy of experiencing the pleasurable result. Recently, I posed the following question to my Facebook community, “when this pandemic is under control what will be a resulting pleasure for you to look forward to?”
My answer, ” dancing a cha cha on a dance floor, again”