Early last year, I suddenly started to feel extremely fatigued. Not one day went by when I did not feel the pressing need to just stop.
Stop everything.
The talking, the moving, the thinking.
Mine was a need that felt both other-wordily and real.
I just wanted to stop and be.
One rainy day, utterly exhausted, I found refuge in an ancient chapel. There, sitting in the cold and empty nave, a heard a very familiar voice whispering to my heavy heart:
“You cannot recharge if you do not release…”
For a moment I wondered if the words suggested I should let go of the only story I thought I knew. The story that I had been telling so many times, I simply knew it by heart. Perhaps I was being invited to release all that I had taken with me lifetime after lifetime or that others had offered to me along the way,
I left the old church that day feeling tired and discouraged.
What was I to release? And would I ever feel good again?
These were questions that I had no way to answer in the immediate, although as it usually happens, good things happen to those who wait.
Much has been happening ever since: to many it may even appear as if my life has been quite the rollercoaster ride of a late. Yet, the soulful connoisseur would recognize the signs of growth and a renewed gusto for life, which I feared had gone lost forever.
Recently something allowed me to revisit the questions left unanswered all those months ago.
I had noticed a few times how, seemingly without any valid reason, I would just have little fits of rage. I convinced myself that they were pretty harmless and luckily, had gone unnoticed. After yet another little tantrum, I was forced to admit that my sporadic outbursts of anger, were in fact becoming increasingly frequent and rather random.
I was utterly mortified.
Me, the spiritual devotee, angry?
Never. There surely had been a mistake!
Those like me do not do anger. We simply bury it under loads of well-thought words, afraid of being crushed by our humanness.
Why was I angry? Most of all, to whom?
Surely not to my beloved husband whose only fault was to have been turned into the sole recipient of my inexplicable rage. When he graciously warned me that my tantrums were getting a tad too much, I paid attention.
One day I took courage and asked the question:
“What message do you bring for me, spirit of anger? Speak and I shall listen.”
Almost immediately, I was taken back to 2020, when the Government had announced yet another lockdown to prevent Covid-19 from further spreading. My husband and were joyfully playing with our dog on the sofa, just before Christmas.
We were healthy, in love, and financially secure: the pandemic was just an opportunity to spend quality time together. We knew we were the lucky ones and had no right to complain about how mad the world had suddenly turned.
Truth is, I was truly angry that someone else might be deciding on my behalf.
The government, the media, the hysteric people: all of a sudden, I felt crushed. Inexistent. Silenced.
Same as I felt crushed, inexistent, and silenced while growing up in a home that often felt exposed and not safe enough.
If Covid 19 made most of humanity fear for their own life, in my case it just made me feel trapped. A feeling I only knew too well and which had haunted all my days.
Suddenly there was no stop to the dread that engulfed me, and I was taken back to my younger years. Feeling at the mercy of the adults around me, I resented their lack of emotional balance and calm. Things were often chaotic and could easily turn for the worse, leaving me rather unsettled and anxious most of the time.
The uncertainty and unsafety of those days caused me to be on constant alert. Even when things were good, I’d still be getting ready for battle. Just in case, because that is what one does when they never allow themselves to voice their heartaches and fears.
I see now how as a kid, I just got on with life.
Who was I, after all, to even think that I deserved better than the struggle we were tolerating at home?
It felt to me that we were all being asked to just get on with it. Adults and kids alike. In our family, you were considered strong if you didn’t make a fuss about things, no matter how messy they were. There surely were people who had it worse than us, so why complain?
I spent most of the lockdowns with the awareness that, when one just gets on with life they are also rarely able to reveal their struggles.
I have always associated strength with my ability to turn things around for myself. Even the shittiest ones. My wisdom and awareness always saw me through thick and thin, so I just kept on going.
Heartache after heartache, little trauma after big trauma, I always thought it was all part of being alive.
It never occurred to me that I could stop and say:
“I can’t do this. It hurts too much and I need a hand. Because I am scared that the pain will never stop and swallow me in. I am scared that I will die before I ever got to live.”
I never dared to admit during the pandemic that, regardless of how good my life was, I felt trapped and afraid. Whatever was paining me, felt illogical and unfair.
After all, the whole world was facing the same drama. Same as the adults I grew up with, who also simply did the best they could. They too, were afraid. They too felt at the mercy of something bigger than themselves.
We all carry wounds we forget about and simply learn to live with. Wounds that, too sadly, become the norm and often remain unhealed. And yet the sordid pain we feel throughout our life, suddenly screams in agony demanding our attention.
Anger Is The Grief We Bury Within & Holds The Gifts The World Cannot Accept.
Covid-19 surely changed the world as we knew it. And it also allowed all its unattended hurt to come out from hiding. It is no surprise that we have all been left shocked by the way this has happened and its repercussion on our inner life.
We naively hoped that with the easing of the various and ongoing restrictions, our life would have a sense of normality again. Instead, it feels like we have been catapulted back to our younger years, and encounter again what had wounded us deeply.
Our angered pain still grieving for being silenced, now screams aloud. Unapologetically & forcefully, often even without much reason. And yet it carries the gifts we gave up on, because we thought no one cared.
Whatever made us unique but we never got to offer to the world, is in our anger same as our grief.
Both are an invite to reclaim what is rightfully ours. How are we going to use them? How are we going to apply their medicine on our open wounds? Mostly, are we ready to let them go and come into the well being which has eluded us so far?
May we release what once made us cry and & may we trust that a new story is being written every moment through our smiles and tears alike.
So be it,

Antonia Lyons

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