Emotional Isolation

Over 4th of July weekend I went into emotional depths that I haven't been able to reach in the past fews months while in quarantine. Reflecting, I wonder if the timing of finally being cleared of Covid-19 had anything to do with my reception to openness. When the pandemic began we were told the best thing we could do to protect ourselves was to isolate. Looking back I realize in many ways I allowed isolation to not only take a physical form but an emotional one as well. Was this due to the fear of not knowing when I would be able to feel emotional intimacy with the people I was closet to again? Was this my way of adapting to virtual communication? Or does this go back to something before the pandemic even began? A tactic, learned from childhood to protect myself of the unknown. In this moment, looking back, I wonder how necessary this emotional retreat was and how could I have let it happen, knowing how much my well being thrives on these intimate types of connections.  

While overlooking panoramic views of all of Los Angeles when the sky was transitioning from day to night with bright lights of illegal fireworks going off, I began a dive into a conversation that felt like waters off of the Santa Barbara coast. A feeling that was reminiscent of home but also distantly unfamiliar. Like I had withdrew myself without realizing how much I missed that type of emotional connection. I had done such a good job of removal, I didn't even realize it had faded away. I imagine it would be similar to when someone goes back to their childhood home that their parents had sold long ago. An emotional response of loving something you never realized you missed. The memories started to flood in of what it was like to have a conversation that was not about what was going on with the world around us but what transformations were occurring within ourselves, due the the changes of the world around us.

I realized, most likely beginning in childhood, but only amplified by the pandemic, I had built up an emotional isolation wall for myself. Throughout my life I had climb this wall to various heights but never reached the top to see what could be on the other side. It was on the evening of 4th of July, in this moment, I saw the potential of what living and loving could be like, if I found a way to tear down this wall. I couldn't  just climb to the other side, because the wall would still be there. It was recognizing that I would have to climb back down, look at it, and begin to remove brick by brick, each component of what I allowed to make up this wall. This barrier was in actuality, was preventing me from simply being myself. Throughout the night various conversations lead back to that initial moment of conversation. It was almost surreal how once the idea of my own emotional isolation had been unlocked, how much it had become ingrained into so many aspects of my being. What was even more eye opening was how simple it was to remove a brick from the wall once I could recognize it. 

The next morning I woke up reflecting. I was weary that this type of depth could only be obtained in person as it had happened the night before. How rare this moment would be in the continuation of the pandemic because of how I still must physically isolate. The following morning a friend called me and at end of the almost three hour phone conversation, I was in awe that we had a newfound ability to go deeper than we ever had before, especially when this is someone I had in my conscience, already gone to great depths with before! It felt like after years of swimming in the kiddie pool, we were diving off the high dive into the adult end. Now, to some this could easily be a coincidence, but for me, it was very evident that since I had begun the process of dismantling my own barrier, I now had the space to receive information, ideas, and love in a much more all around encompassing way.

What felt so special in both of these separate dialogues, was that each person was making their own self discoveries all while making dual discoveries together as well. Both perspectives were valued enough to allow the others insight to potentially evolve their own ideologies. There was a very clear foundation between us. This new self awareness led me to the question, How do  I allow myself to except ALL the facets of who I am, so when I connect with not only with myself, but with others, it is on the deepest level possible.

Moving forward, 4th of July will have a whole new meaning for me. Under the colorful bursts of light that spread across the Los Angeles skyline that evening, I had my own internal fireworks show.  Central explosions leading me to my own personal Independence day. 


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