“Look Mr. St. Romain! I’m upside down now,” said one of my students. We were having a virtual social skill lesson when he discovered he could shift the position of his I-Pad and change what I could see. “I’m floating in the air! Cool, huh?” “Nope,” I said. “I don’t like floating around. I like gravity.” He smiled, “Yeah. Gravity’s cool, too.”
We all need gravity – or things that keep us grounded. My rituals and sense of control do that for me. When I know what to expect, my anxiety goes down. The same is true when I can make my own choices and control certain outcomes. Thus, the problem.
Today, I was supposed to sing in church for our virtual service – but alas, my voice decided not to cooperate. I’m not sick. I feel great. I have zero other symptoms – I’ve just lost my voice. Though it’s not a big deal – it’s really bothered me. I realized this morning that my issue is not about singing. It’s that the choice to do so was out of my control.
This is what is unnerving me most about our current health situation – both my rituals and sense of control, to some degree, have been taken away. My day-to-day routine has been dramatically altered, and for the safety of all, I am restricted in my choices regarding where I go and what I do. I agree with the measures we are taking on a cognitive level, but emotionally, I don’t like defying the gravity I so desperately crave.
My response will be to look for the grounding forces in my life and cling to them. My wife – my friends – certain aspects of my work – when I focus on those rocks, all the annoying pebbles float away. And ultimately, being a man of faith, I’ll work to relinquish control. Just because I can’t see a grounding force, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Gotta go. The service will be starting soon. I’m sorry I couldn’t sing, but for what it’s worth – this is my contribution.
Have a blessed Sunday.