I have discovered recently that being isolated from social contact has left me feeling quite irritated. Also, all of the restrictions of wearing a mask, having to take my temperature, not to mention walking 6 feet apart from everyone has left me even more agitated. Yesterday I found myself getting tense when the lady in front of me quickly scolded me for putting my items on the conveyor belt before she had finished checking out.
On a more positive side, I have had some peaceful moments of being alone, learning about new options for my practice, and being reflective in solitude with God. However, other times I feel the tension rising and creating some frustration toward my life, husband, and especially my dog at the present.
Tasha is going through a change of life and it’s been quite challenging for Les and I. What once was a very consistent dog with her doing her business with the doggie door, has become an inconsistent problem of releasing it wherever, even if it is right in front of us on the carpet!! The vet tells us dogs at this age develop dementia and this can be one of the signs. I guess I haven’t had a dog live this long to experience this as she just turned 19 in April.
I’m praying for understanding and patience with her new behavior. I can’t scold her as she’s not a young dog that can be trained. I know how many of us feel when we are taking care of elderly parents. They tend to revert back to being childlike. I hope to be able to be understanding toward her showing her the love she deserves, as she has given so much to me through all these years.
Another change I have noticed is how she tends to whimper when she can’t get comfortable in a position to sleep. I thought to myself that it reminds me of how agitated I feel when I’m not comfortable in situations. It is like I described earlier with all of the restrictions as I tend to get agitated when life doesn’t show up the way I want it to be.
I’ve been reading that mental health professionals have felt like this pandemic has led to a whole set up mental problems, as we are not used to these restrictions placed on us. It many times may feel like we are being controlled and have no rights of our own. Also, wearing masks is like we’re covering up our whole identity. Who we are and how we want to show up in the world is masked by everyone wearing these coverings. In addition, riots are happening in the world to demonstrate our agitation and anger for the way the police force is handling things!
Much of this unrest I believe is a sign of pent up feelings about not being heard, having a voice, which many of us can identify with. We may feel from early on in life that we haven’t been able to be seen for who we are. It’s a basic need of human nature to be acknowledged and when that doesn’t happen we may feel overlooked and insignificant.
We may strive for outward accomplishments or being apart of a movement to get that significance, but many times it falls short. The problem is an inward identity problem. We need to learn to love ourselves amid others not giving us what we want.
I have learned to turn over all my frustrations to a God that can handle even the smallest amount of discord within us. He knows our heart and can meet us there.
Tips for letting go of irritations:
- Be self-compassionate with yourself.
- Turn over your resentments.
- Let go of not being able to control everything.
- Don’t seek our identity through outward accomplishments. It will fall short.
- Rest in the uncomfortable places in life know that what we resist, persists.