Mindful Center for Disease Control guidelines shift traditional Valentines Day and life during a pandemic. We embrace homemade cards and more quiet time from a safe distance. We acknowledge the stress as love may seem hidden. Nobel Peace Prize recipient and spiritual leader Dalai Lama suggests, “In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel ‘burnout’ setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective.” That big picture perspective helps us love.
Our hearts break for those who grieve and mourn, especially dear friends who lost their parents this year. Their Mom’s birthday and parents’ anniversary is Valentine’s Day. We can’t imagine their loss and grief. We savor the golden wedding anniversary celebration they hosted for their parents a couple years ago. We aspire to their patient wisdom, acceptance and self-kindness. We text and call loved friends and family we no longer see in quarantine.
On this Valentine’s Day, we look forward to listening to the quarantine music my sister-in-law Angie shared, which includes the classic, “Staying Alive,” “I Will Survive” and “Dancing with Myself.” On the bright side, Billy Idol mused, “Well, there’s nothing to lose and there’s nothing to prove when I’m dancing with myself. Oh oh oh-oh.”
How do you practice self-care? My boys play a lot of football.
We’ve read more family classics during the pandemic such as Little Women and Tom Sawyer. Thanks to my Mom who leant us those vintage copies we read as children. While we continue to navigate social issues and unrest, we study the history of civil rights. My youngest beamed when he recounted the story of Rosa Parks. In the spirit of healing and learning, my sister lent me Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.
Love in a pandemic and always can mean space. Quarantine may heighten our senses. The February sky seems clearer this 2021 than we remember it. We can choose a gentle lens to acknowledge and accept our own flaws and loved ones’ imperfections. We can affirm ourselves and others. Our family hearts soar with pride and gratitude as my husband practices his music to cantor at today’s moring mass. To our pleasant surprise, he sings, “Amazing Grace.” Happy Valentine’s Day! XOXO