That it would become the smallest creature in our known world that managed to wipe the streets of millions of cities and change the travel patterns of most continents, no one had seen. Does covid-19 become a comma, semicolon, or period? Perhaps, when the virus has swept through all the corners and corners of the world, we move on full force, now simply with vaccine or immunity in the blood. Or maybe the covid-19 will be the entrance to another era in which the world economy, globalization and our consumption habits are forever changing.
It strikes me how many people seem to focus on the risk to themselves and not thinking that here it is the weak who are at risk, while it is the strong who can carry the infection to them.
It's easy to get upset and judge the quarantine breakers as egoists. But - we all need to belong and be part of a community, so when we act without thought for the community, it expresses malnutrition. Does it help to condemn people who act on the basis of hunger?
Since my childhood in the 1960s, we have gone from football to fitness. The market economy encourages us to compete with each other for the most delicious car, farthest journey and most beautiful home. Is the market economy the villain? Is caregiving outside the family and many parents' compensation for bad conscience by putting the children unreasonably at the center another reason? Is it the loss of connection people in between?
My clients are often ashamed that they are endlessly lonely behind an otherwise successful surface. They feel stranger and have a relegation, an age-old hope of being recognized and warmly welcomed. The missing is so deep that most of us keep it from life through distractions and a focus on recognition. I rejoice when a client enters the room where the pain is overwhelming, because from here we can reverse the merciless conclusion of growing up: You are alone.
People who think they are alone care less about others. But loneliness is an illusion. We er connected, just like cells in your body are connected, even though each has its own identity and function.
Early trauma causes the feeling of isolation to replace the bondage that is our birthright. My clients' trauma most often stems from a lack of contact with friendly, curious adults. Other clients have been subjected to or seen family violence. Our expectation as new people on this planet is going to be terribly disappointed, and both examples hurt the child's soul so much that we retreat into ourselves not to be vulnerable to that kind anymore.
If you can feel it, you can heal it
Therefore, it is good news when a client feels the pain of loneliness. If it can be felt, it can be healed. The remedies are simple: warmth, presence and precision.
The heat gives the client a felt experience of being wanted, welcomed. The presence ensures that the client is in focus. It is the client who knows what it is and was, and my job is to listen and understand. The precision makes us together make sense of what happened. Not as a general 'It was bad, but now it gets better' statement, but as an accurate mapping of the mix of emotions and needs that were present.
The result is that something deep inside finds tranquility and that the painful moments take place in the memories gallery rather than haunting the client from the subconscious.
The magic occurs when these people discover how the tissue feels that connects them to other people and the surrounding nature. They begin to feel that they belong to their right to exist, and intuitively understand how other people act on grounds that are meaningful when they know them. Everything possible follows in the aftermath: vitality, accountability, care, ease.
Home to the village
Sometimes I think the road is infinitely long before we are there where people are spontaneous connection with each other again has replaced the insulation. But when I see that covid-19 has changed our world agenda in quite a few weeks, I know that change is possible and it can come faster than we think.
If we could add some of this trauma-cure medicine to the corona epidemic, then I think more of us would realize the only right thing to take care of each other, even if for a period of time, it limits our own scope. And that we would have compassion, rather than indignation towards those who do not act with the community in mind. So we can help each other home to the village before darkness takes over.