Walking through the supermarket this weekend, I asked my husband through my mask covered mouth, “Should we get eggs to decorate for Easter this year?”
The moment that question exited my mouth I felt deep sadness and grief. In years past, I would have been excited about dying eggs bright colors and hiding them around our yard. This ritual is usually one of my favorites.
My kids seem to share the most about what is happening in their lives when we are working on a project all together. I learn about their favorite lessons from school, the latest friendship stories and their feelings about what is going on in politics. With the promise of warmer weather around the corner we usually dye the eggs on our deck.
But this year, as you know, is so different.
I wasn’t sure if I could engage in the same ritual with the sadness of the pandemic swirling around me. I felt unmotivated, guilty and sad. Rather than reacting from that state I noticed it and asked my intuition and inner knowing what I should do.
The answer was clear: get the eggs.
I realized in that moment that I could have BOTH. I could enjoy the activity with my family and feel the sadness of this moment.
So, we decorated eggs this year.
The stories, laughter and silliness we have every year came out. My daughter told me over and over that she loved me (she is 12) and that she loved that we were dying eggs.
However, we also commemorate that this time things are different.
We talked about how our friend we usually decorate eggs with was absent and we were living in a house we usually only visited on the weekends.
We decided to leave a space in the egg tray to commemorate that this year something is different. Something is missing. While there is joy and color there is also loss and despair.
We must honor both.
The more you allow yourself to feel two feelings at one time the more agile you will be. This agility will allow you to manage difficult feelings and experiences. Think of the willow tree that bends with the wind. By holding the dichotomy of every experience right now you build resiliency.
What rituals have you kept the same and what are you doing differently?
We would love to hear.