CASS Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Read More.

Letting Go of 2020

Posted on Mon, Jan 4, 2021 By:
Posted in: blogMental Health & Mindfulness

Greetings everyone! Happy New year!!

Here we are, in the first week of 2021. How have you been processing the end of 2020? Have you found yourself already forgetting some experiences of this difficult year, yet clinging to other experiences?

To move from one season and in to the next requires us to let go. To let go of what was and to move in to what is to come. To let go of what we know and have become familiar with, and move towards the unknown, perhaps the uncomfortable, the unpreferred. Acknowledging and processing the loss of what was and the apprehension of what is to come is important in making this step.

We may be closing the chapter on 2020, but we are still knee-deep in the story of COVID-19. This has been a long and unprecedented 10 months. Who I am today is not who I was on March 15th, 2020. I am a little older, wiser, and experienced in the ways of pandemic-living. Still don’t like it, but I’m getting through it. Because I have to. No choice. How have you changed over the past 10 months? How does who you are today compare to who you were pre-March 15th, 2020? What changes do you see as positive? What changes are still evolving?

There are feelings and thoughts from the last 10 months that I’d like to let go of. Thoughts of blaming and confusion, and feelings of fear and anger have been wearing me down long enough. How about you? We still have a journey ahead and we need the energy, creativity, and positivity to keep moving through successfully and gracefully. How can we bring closure to the experience we’ve been through in the last 10 months while still mustering the courage, resources and hope that we need going forward with COVID for the indefinite future?

One of my recent emails talked about the value of journalling in expressing, processing and releasing feelings and thoughts. Letter writing was mentioned as a form of journal writing. Writing a letter to a lost loved one, someone we’ve hurt or been hurt by, or even a thing that has caused us pain can be a powerful way to express and process big feelings like grief, anger, abandonment, injustice. It can also be a way to reframe our understanding of a feeling or situation, to build confidence, to let go, bring closure, and keep moving ahead.

What would you say if you could talk to COVID? Would you shake your fist and rant and yell? Or would you open your hands and quietly ask “what do you have to teach me”? If COVID was a rock, would you throw it hard into the river, or would you carve it in to a beautiful piece of art? If it was a tree, would you chop it down, bit by bit, throw it in the firepit and watch the flames dance? Or would you sit quietly in the shadow of its branches and watch the birds gracefully fly by? If you had a magic wand, would you make COVID disappear or would you transform it into something awesome and amazing?

Take a moment to consider expressing your thoughts and feelings towards COVID through letter writing. Let your feelings out as they come, without judgment or censorship. See what emerges. Pay attention to any changes that may take place during the process, or when you’ve completed the letter. Take a moment for self-compassion. I’ve attached a letter to COVID that includes sentence stems.  This pre-fabricated letter template can prompt feelings and thoughts out a little easier.

It is my hope that expressing your thoughts and feelings towards COVID in this symbolic but active way will allow you some space and freedom from the grief, anger, fear, and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. It provides a space to let go of blame, and an opportunity to open up to learning, gratitude and pride in ourselves and our communities.

Have an amazing week,

stay well,

Melanie

Dear COVID-19,

When I first heard of you, I ________________________________________________

When you shut down my world on March 16, 2020 ________________________

Since then, it’s been ________________________________________________________

I’ve been feeling ____________________________________________________________

I wish that __________________________________________________________________

I miss _______________________________________________________________________

What’s been hardest for me is _____________________________________________

I’ve learned _________________________________________________________________

One thing I’ve realized about myself is ____________________________________

And I’m proud of ___________________________________________________________

I’m also thankful for _______________________________________________________

One thing I believe about the future is ____________________________________

Sincerely,

ME _____________________________________

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