Dear Lockdown, you will be missed…

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Carmen Balacianu

07/05/2020

If the lockdown were a person, I would write him or her a letter to say thank you for being such a wonderful teacher to me. The most important teaching of these past months has been to overcome FEAR and embrace LOVE. So simple, yet so powerful!

I recall the first weeks of the lockdown as incredibly stressful. There was fear pouring out from all possible outlets: TV, online news, social media, whats app groups, discussions with family and friends. The uncertainty and chaos created was helping fear propagate like a dark fog covering everything in its cold embrace. I remember starting to panic, having anxiety attacks and losing the grip on reality. I’m ashamed to say it, I was one small step away from giving into the toilet paper buying frenzy myself!

Then one day I realized this all had to stop. Having grown up in a communist country I knew too well what it meant to go grocery shopping to stores with empty shelves and to wait in line for hours to purchase rationed basic food necessities such as flour, eggs or butter. I knew already survival is possible with very little resources. So why was I so afraid of missing material things which in the end are not of real importance? I already had what I needed the most: my health and my family’s health. Yet the news filled with fear were working their way in, creating more stress, weakening my immune system. I knew I needed to do something to stop that downward spiral of fear.

I remember one day sitting down in meditation trying to calm myself, to empty myself of all the fear I was accumulating. I needed to ground myself yet the fear thoughts were too strong, making me react in strange ways. As I was struggling to find my inner stillness suddenly I heard my children laughing in the other room. They were so happy and free, without a care in this big scary, upside down world. Suddenly my heart filled with love, pushing away the dark cloud of fear. I was finally at peace. And I had my answer. An ancient knowledge we all know but somehow we forget about: Love conquers fear! Love is the antidote!

After that day I started to limit my intake of fear and increase my daily dose of love. I started to give more hugs and kisses to my children, organized calls with family and dear friends, smiled freely to strangers, offered help to my elderly neighbors, and sent love and energy to the ones in need.

In addition, I did an internal check where fear was holding me back from achieving my dreams. I have been dreaming for a while to coach groups but because of fear I limited myself to one to one coaching. Now was the moment to look fear in the eyes and act. So, not without trepidation, I decided to give it a try and come at it from the love angle. Guess what, so many people needed to connect and the outcome of the group coaching has been phenomenal.

As I am reflecting back at my experience of the last months I’m astonished to realize I will be missing this crises. The lockdown has been an incredibly wise teacher, who gently pushed me out of my comfort zone helping me to embrace love in order to overcome fear. I hope to hold on to this knowledge and realize that I don’t really need a crisis to do a reality check and see if my fear and love are out of balance. And when I’m low on love, I know just what to do.

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