We live in a different world than we did 2 months ago. And our world will be again made different by the regulations and fears that accompany the re-ignition of daily life in the weeks and months when quarantines are lifted.
We live on a different planet than the characters in Gabriel Garcia Marquez 1985 novel, Love In The Time of Cholera. Taking place from 1880 – 1930 likely in Colombia. The protagonists profess their long distance love by telegraph and hand written letters that can take days and weeks to finally get read and be replied to. Nowadays we tweet, text and FaceTime in the moment – all the time. The content of the messages is the same. In the south and the north we are all searching for the same thing.
To love and be loved.
Fast forward 100 years or so and we can exchange Cholera for Coronavirus. Both are infectious diseases that can cause death. For that matter one might say there are some similarities with love.
What have we learned? About love and infection.
Here is a story from the here and now.
She brought her daughter and a dog. He had his 2 children and a dog. They married and added a child of their own. They came from contrasting cultures. Something happened to harmony. Not overnight.
For this man and woman now their many relationships as spouses, parents, step mom/dad and with in-laws are to some degree: disastrous, toxic and dangerous to all participants. Who is to blame?
We can blame him for sure. Because his patience ran out. We can also blame her because she doesn’t have anymore patience. We can definitely blame their parents who didn’t use all those years guide them into the necessary Self-Love. Add to your Coronaworld those infuriating times in a marriage and you have a recipe for disaster. We all need a good dose of Self-Love to get through the disruption and uncertainty that is Your Life During Coronavirus.
The more Self-Love we can muster these days then the less like a personal attack this whole situation can feel. While we are all doing some version of ‘sheltering in place’ or self-isolation or social distancing or quarantine we need to adjust to our new circumstance or get adjusted by it. There is no commuting to work, drive-through coffee, popping out for lunch, office flirting, useless meetings to complain about, personal space or no stories of what happened today at work or school.
We all need to give each other and ourselves a break because nobody saw this pandemic coming. Except Bill Gates. Many years and millions of dollars of donations ago.
Love in the Time of Coronavirus is love of the imperfect you. Love of the grace of planet Earth. Loving the feeling of breathing in fresh spring air in a time when it might be dangerous to breathe. Love of forgiving and being forgiven – quickly when possible. Slowly when not.
Offering your smile to someone else is Self-Love. Complimenting their cooking is Self-Love; so is waking the dishes. People laughing at you instead of your dumb joke takes a fair amount of Self-Love. Belief in a life journey takes Self-love because it means you know that you are part of something bigger than daily life. Refining your habits, routines and rituals in order to offer your spouse a Satisfied husband is a good example of Self-Love. Because you want your Self-Love to be a part of your spouse’s happiness.