I’ve been a single mom for over ten years and I’m good at it! Dare I say I have a sense of pride in knowing that I can depend on myself and figure things out? I tell myself that I have enough good friends and lead a healthy, balanced life shared among solid relationships with my boyfriend and family.  

Enter COVID19, job loss, empty nesting and now the reality of isolation, selfishness and purposeless ooze into my subconscious. 

Quickly the uncertainties and fears that lived in the background of my being leaked into my daily interactions, though limited.  I vehemently opposed giving into the notion that I wasn’t strong enough to handle social distancing or that I needed to feel another human being’s presence either physically or virtually. Yet, I still craved my daily trip to the local gas station for my dollar Diet Coke.

My boyfriend feels differently about presence and the human need to simply be together –  in the same place. It was a concept I’d made foreign and I admittedly pushed the idea away. With gentle persistence, though, he has become present and we now spend our days mostly in the same place. I haven’t had this much togetherness in over a decade with another adult and wasn’t sure how I’d react or how to interact. Yet, moment by moment, our increased presence throughout the ‘stay at home orders’ has shown me compassion and love through grins, smiles, shared meals and chores.  Simply being in the same house makes sharing and facing fear and uncertainty unavoidable. Unavoidable because I’m not a good poker player – my emotions, feelings and thoughts are in my expression or lack of it. I can’t hide. I have to deal and heal. 

I could continue to hide and avoid the difficult questions, but presence has offered a new, healthy, balanced reality. It’s offered me the opportunity to grow in honesty and acceptance of myself and it’s given me hope for a future that is real, shared and fulfilling. Presence offers wholeness and the ability to create a shared life of joy and simple wholeness. For that I am forever grateful.