One Community by Jerry LePore
One Community by Jerry LePore
As I sit down to write this we’re on day 65 of lockdown, give or take a few days. Our yoga studios and most businesses shut down mid-March, schools closed soon after and life has taken quite a turn for us all. Although we’re all sharing in this challenging and bizarre experience together, each of our perspectives and reactions is uniquely our own.
I’m fairly newly married (November 1) so lockdown has been a shared experience with the woman I love, which is a complete blessing and one I do not take for granted. I’m spending time with my three boys, cooking much more and walking more than I ever imagined possible!
My heart goes out to those who are experiencing this alone. Not in the form of pity but in relating to experiencing difficult situations alone.
When asked to write a blog on my thoughts/experience around all things COVID, I thought of a few ways to go. How this has affected my business, my new daily routine, how it’s been going through this newly married, how my kids have fared, etc. However, time and again, the one thought that kept resurfacing was how those who are alone are coping and why was I so consumed and affected by this.
As a fairly private person, my wife encouraged me to share a little about my backstory as a way to not only relate but to understand why.
My earliest experience of feeling on my own through a difficult situation was when my father went to prison. I was seven. One day he was there and the next he was gone. Eighteen months later he came home. There was no discussion of my father not being there, no reason why, no explanation so I was left to my own thoughts, and whatever sense of abandonment or fear I had as a child was dealt with alone.
When I was 16 my father passed away from cancer. I have a twin brother and three older brothers but growing up in a house where communication was not fostered, to say the least, the feeling of being on my own through another difficult experience, this time grief, resurfaced.
Five years later my mom died suddenly of a heart attack. Being more mature (somewhat) and having more of an awareness to lean on friends and family helped tremendously through this. But once again I was brought back to the feeling this experience was mine to bear by myself.
Fast forward about 20 years. I was about to start the first of multiple treatments of chemotherapy, most of these while living alone. By now feeling like I’ve been trained to deal with pain, loss, suffering on my own, I approached each of these treatments over the ensuing years not expecting or even needing help. Although I had much. It was just an ingrained mindset and what I believed was how things were meant to be.
Over the years I slowly began to open my heart and realize I didn’t have to and wasn’t meant to, go it alone in this life. I could open up to receive love and care. Yoga and the Powerflow community helped with this. I also learned, as there is deep value in human connection, love, and community there is also deep value in being alone. Appreciating both during the toughest of times, for me, was the key.
I empathize with those who are alone through this pandemic. I’ve reached out to many friends over the past two months, especially those living alone, again not to offer pity but to just say hi and check-in. I hope it helps them as much as it helps me.