Brain Fog

Photo by Ivan Oboleninov on

It’s been a hell of a year, hasn’t it? I remember it was only ten months ago when I was sitting in my classroom, longing for the new year. Half way to the end of the school year, my final year of teaching, and excited to continue to grow in my spiritual journey while embarking on a new path to self-discovery and independence. I made my new year’s resolutions, meditated on my goals, and was motivated to make them happen.

There were so many things I had lined up to do. I’d recently become a Reiki practitioner, was working on honing my tarot and palmistry abilities with the intention to offer readings to pay the bills while writing and publishing romance novels. I also planned on starting an online business with my sister to sell products specifically designed for spiritual purposes. I was looking forward to my final trip with the International Travel Club. We were meant to be going to Italy and Greece for two weeks at the end of June. For those of us who have managed to look at a television or the internet within the last eight to nine months, I’m pretty sure you know how that worked out.

It’s difficult to complain, though. I realize I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve had friends, family members, co-workers test positive for Covid-19, but fortunately they’ve all recovered. I am luckily in a position where I am able to stay quarantined for the most part. I’ve watched in horror as my former colleagues, good friends and amazing teachers, have been put through the ringer, especially in this last week as students have returned to the classroom. I worry every day for them. Yet, I know it’s not quite the same as being in their shoes. They, along with so many front line and essential workers, are out there doing what they are called to do or what they have to do, so I couldn’t possibly understand what they’re going through. Thus, what right do I have to be in a fog?

These last few weeks, especially last week, have been difficult. I confess to not being able to meditate as much as I should. There’s been little time set aside for myself, and these last few days, just the thought of doing anything has seemed like a chore. I won’t even get into how it’s impacted my sleep, but suffice it to say, I’m exhausted pretty much all the time. And I feel guilty for feeling this way. What right do I have to be in such a frame of mind when I’m not one of the many people who’ve caught Covid-19 or suffered loss because of it?

I don’t know how many people feel the same way. I know it’s not just me, though, because I see it all over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. There’s profound guilt for those who are feeling like they’re living in a haze even though they’ve not been impacted in the same way others have. If you’re one of these people, let me go ahead and clear this up for you: It’s not only okay to feel the way you do and acknowledge it, it’s valid. The degree to which we’ve all been affected may vary, but there’s no denying that we have all felt it in some way. Life is definitely not what it was less than a year ago.

It’s all right to miss the little things — Just because you’re upset that you can’t go to the gym or hang out at happy hour on Fridays with your best pals doesn’t make you a terrible or selfish person. It’s like if you break or dislocate a bone. It hurts. And depending on which bone, it might really hurt. For example, a few years ago, I dislocated my hip. It was intensely painful and that pain impacted other areas of my body, including my back. Ultimately, I had to undergo some extensive physical therapy just to be able to walk without pain. While I was there, though, I met a woman who was in a car accident and lost her leg. She was learning to walk on a prosthetic. She’d make jokes to keep things light, but one time when I was complaining about how much it hurt to walk, tears in my eyes, she told me, “Look on the bright side. At least you have two legs!” She wasn’t trying to shame me, but I still felt guilty. I hadn’t even realized how insensitive I must have seemed, and I quickly apologized to her for being a jerk. She looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Are you in pain?” When I told her yes, she said, “Then why are you apologizing? Your pain is different than mine, but it’s still pain.”

So, just because you aren’t experiencing something the same way doesn’t mean it’s not hurting you or making you feel terrible. In a previous post, I told you to give yourself permission to focus on you. Sometimes that means having the courage to embrace the feelings that aren’t pleasing. If you keep ignoring what’s making you tired or upset, how’s it going to get better? The only thing I would say, though, is even as you acknowledge, think of what you can do to change it. For me, that meant taking last week to really just feel. Did I feel guilty about not posting? Yes. But I also knew that if I sat at a computer, all I’d end up doing is staring at the screen and wishing I were back in bed. Still, I told myself that I could take the week, but after that, I needed to get back to work.

That said, if you are feeling like you’re in a brain fog, and it’s been a while since you’ve last meditated or you’ve fallen behind on keeping up with your altar, don’t worry about it. It doesn’t make you a bad witch. Your altar isn’t going anywhere, and you can return to it whenever you are ready. And remember, even if it doesn’t feel like you’re being productive, taking time to understand what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it is as important to your spiritual growth as anything else.

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