I got an email this morning from an acquaintance that started with: “I imagine you have a lot of wisdom in the face of this experience. Hope you are staying well.”
I must admit that was a lovely way to wake up. I’ve worked hard to gain the knowledge that I have, and it’s gratifying to be acknowledged for it. In my response, though, I pointed out to her that I gained my wisdom going through a life-altering experience while the rest of the world chugged along as per usual. So, yes, I have more experience than the average American for how to approach a life-altering moment, and I’m always happy to be leaned on for that knowledge, but literally no one on the planet has the actual answer on how to handle what we’re all going through in this particular moment.
In general, I’ve been avoiding the news and social media. But every now and again I hear about some influencer trying to give advice along the lines of: “watch how the people in your life are treating you during this moment (especially if they’re not showing up for you), and act accordingly.” This is very good advice when the world is “normal,” and you’re lying in a hospital bed or going through a divorce. But I’m going to go out on a very short limb and state unequivocally that it is TERRIBLE advice for right now, and those people saying that are literally pulling words out of their ass with no regard for the consequences.
So here’s my hard-earned advice for today: Be kind to yourself and those who you have to interact with (basically, the people who live in your house and who you are responsible for feeding and keeping alive). And if that list is all you have energy for, cool. If you don’t have the energy for that, please ask for help from people who you know have a lighter load (no dependents — children or parents, wealth, an incredible meditation practice, a greenhouse, etc.). If, by some miracle, you have more energy for more people, brilliant, but please share that energy wisely. And if people get mad at you for “not being supportive enough to me during this really hard time,” drop that narcissist from your life immediately.
And for those of you who know about Maslow, the reason that I say all of that is because our entire planet has firmly maxed out in the “safety” level, and a lot of people are in the “physiological” level. Once we get out of this, the rules will change. But until then, please PLEASE take care of yourself, and ignore anyone trying to guilt you into something else.
Hugs and love and energy to you.