Social distancing. We’ve all been at it for awhile. And yes it feels like everyone is still hiding in their little caves too scared to even virtually stick their heads out to check in with each other.
I get it -I really do. We are all caught up in what is right in front of us and it is daunting and needs so much more attention then our friends whom we can only find in the digital world.
Besides we are being barraged by social media. It is tough, super tough, to filter through the medical jargon, the political banter, the news outlets to find even a semblance of the truth to make us feel informed.
By the end we’ve found out more than we wanted, needed, and or may be able to bear mentally or emotionally about how this virus is effecting our community and world. When in reality we just logged on to connect with friends and family.
I am having to limit my daily dose of social media outlets in order to save my personal sanity; to keep my stress and anxiety level to a minimum. I care about it all-but I am being asked to care most about my family-what is right in front me.
I have been learning how to show myself and my friends grace. The truth is the type of communication and connection we are able to give each other right now is not enough to sustain a relationship. These programs and apps, even video chats can lead to miscommunication and hurt feelings if we are not careful-all because of a bad connection, a unexpected delay, a typo.
So we show grace. I also know that some friends have been super available and ready to talk, others not so much or inconsistently. That has been surprising but I cannot use this season’s communication style with my friends to measure of our friendship. I do not know the pressure they are under, the emotional and mental strain their experiencing at home. What really matters is what our friendship looks like when we come out of this and connect in person again.
As an introvert it is not my natural state to reach out to connect with others. To be brave, take a risk, step out and speak up: even a simple “cold call”: “hello?” via messenger or text is not easy. I have had my days and times where it is too hard to get my act (or the rest of my family together) for a Zoom call. But I am trying. I am not technology savy and yet I am trying new programs and apps in an attempt to connect.
I am realizing I cannot wait for my friends to contact me-I need initiate. I know it’s not easy, to be real and vulnerable; to be the first one to stick your head out of the cave. But no-one I have contacted has ignored me (for too long) or been upset at my attempt to reach out. This type of connection does help even if the conversation is brief and/or interrupted.
No connecting right now is not normal. We were made for face to face interactions, hugs, experiences together. But we still need to try to find ways to not feel isolated in our isolation.
I am praying for however much longer this season is for your family that you find opportunities, creativity, and timing to reach out and connect with others.
Have you found creative ways to connect with your friends/family? Would love to hear about them!