Fragility – it’s on my mind this morning as COVID-19 Omicron variant continues to gain ground and Delta continues to bring severe illness to those who haven’t been vaccinated. Life is fleeting – regardless of how we cling to it. Success is too – and that means so is loss and discouragement, dismay and – yes – even shame. We sometimes are pulled into emotional states that seem to have the force of a whirlpool, turning, turning, churning us in and under. These forces feel inexorable. They aren’t.
See, the nice thing about fragility – like the fact that a china plate caught in gravity and about to meet a marble floor will shatter – is that any particular feeling, and the thoughts or behavior that generated it – can also shatter in an instant.
Why is it that so often we feel the negative, the sorrows, the disappointments, are lasting, while we know the effervescent, the uplifting, the triumphs, will not last? Something there is within us that loves to wallow…whether in self-pity or self-flagellation. Those who study guinea pigs have measured the distance they run given a wheel, per day, and it’s about 3 kilometers! (I recently read this but can’t find it right now!). They love to run. We use the imagery of the wheel to help us visualize what is going on inside our thoughts and feelings when we are ruminating and thus prolonging the negative thoughts and feelings we say “besiege” us. We run and run on the same negative thought until we seek release in a risky behavior, frantic or escapist consumption of media or food.
Fragility. It’s a scary word, reminding us that nothing lasts. And nothing does. Whether desirable or repulsive.
Fragility. A word that could describe our own emotional landscapes at a time when the virus is again providing the opportunity for fear, isolation, loneliness, discouragement, and despair to overwhelm us.
Instead let’s remember that “this too will pass.” Nothing lasts forever and thus nothing is insurmountable. “If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.” – Flavia Weedn
When you feel fragile, remember that means you won’t feel this way for long. Nothing lasts – nothing.