‘The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..’
⁃ John Milton, Paradise Lost, 1667.
I’ve always loved this quote. It’s helped me understand myself and my reactions in every conceivable environment, indeed including those that resemble both heaven and hell.
And never has it been more apt than now.
I need to preface this piece with how extraordinarily blessed I am. Not #blessed but actual blessings from Our Creator.
I have not lost my job (in fairness I didn’t have one to begin with, but I digress). More importantly, my husband hasn’t lost his job KAH. I am pregnant with a darling baby boy whom we all prayed and wished for. And, my children are healthy and safe.
Without inciting any evil eyes I stand firm in my knowledge of how, almost uniquely, “lucky” I am right now.
I do not wish to be insensitive in any measure to those who are suffering.
I also want to share something. A part of myself perhaps - as always.
I’m not sure this post will necessarily help anyone (besides me) but I feel a need to share it, if for nothing else than catharsis.
I have been enjoying lockdown. I can’t lie. I know most hate it and I acknowledge my response isn’t the common one. But I have. And now I can articulate why.
Sheltering in place for the past seven weeks has allowed me to, unashamedly and unrelentingly, reintroduce myself, to, myself.
I’ve had some very strong instincts over the years about life and how it should be lived, and this lockdown has given be the absolute confirmation and validation I craved. Not to say that I’m necessarily right in these ideas, but more that one can never ever go wrong trusting one’s own intuition.
Sometimes that whispering voice that says: “this is right for me and this isn’t”, is enough. In fact it always is. No additional explanation needed.
Lockdown has allowed me to free myself. And to be freely myself once more. Closer to the essential version that lies within. And here is a VERY brief summary of how:
1. DOMESTIC HELP - I just love doing my own housework. I know it seems nutty but I finally feel free in my own home. In control and in charge.
2. SCHOOLING - the most important lessons of life, perhaps the only important lessons of life, need to be parented, not learned in school. The responsibility is solely on the parents and I am up for the challenge. Anything else is just secondary.
3. TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS - thanks to the frantic sharing of information during this time I came across a mind blowing piece about Narcissist Personality Disorder (NPD). This paper was written for me to read and I am so so grateful to HBH for placing it in my path. I can finally release a toxic relationship with love and compassion and peace. I am free.
4. FAMILY IMPORTANCE - I’m not sure this even requires an explanation. I miss about two and a half people whom I’m not related to. Family is literally everything.
5. TORAH - I find myself typing out ‘we are so blessed and privileged to have Torah’ about six times a day, in various forums. The supreme knowledge that everything is for the good and HaShem is in control is my greatest relief and freedom.
6. THE HOME IS THE EPICENTER - being home for every waking moment, surrounded by only my essential essentials, has further confirmed what I always knew to be true; home is not a house but a feeling, and their hearts are my home.
I’m not sure if the relevance of these ideas to anyone else, but let me say this in summary: freedom is a state of mind.