Love & Kindness (What we need in the world right now)

Mar 23, 2020

These are scary, challenging times. I’m writing this statement from my apartment, on a two-week self isolation after cutting my trip to Europe short. This is a self-imposed measure, since no one at SeaTac told me I had to self-quarantine. But we’re all facing a global pandemic the likes of which hasn’t happened in a hundred years. People are dying all over the world, and there’s no end in sight. I don’t know a happy way to spin these realities, and I don’t know that it’s fruitful to try to come up with a silver lining for us all to focus on right now.

It’s hard right now. For all of us. And for those who started with less, it’s even harder. 

Overall, I’m pretty fortunate. My work pays me pretty well right now, I have healthcare through the VA, and because I’m disabled I get monthly pay from the VA as well, For lots of folks, their work is evaporating. Businesses are closing, cities are issuing shelter-in-place orders, everything that drives this economy is falling apart and that means a lot of fear and struggle and hardship. 

Lots of folks in sex education are struggling right now too, because our work often relies upon the disposable income of the kinds of folks who are being hurt right now. The three conferences I was scheduled to speak at in April were all postponed or cancelled, and that means a lot less money for those who were supposed to be there. We’re working on helping each other out, but there are very few folks in this field who have an abundance of resources.

All this is to say that we’re all facing a collective trauma. Illness, death, limitation, helplessness, threats to security, this is becoming our daily life. I don’t know how we get out of this. I don’t know how we turn things around. I do know that many of us will need some bright lights in the middle of this storm. We need something to think about and focus on that isn’t doom and fear. I encourage all of you to find something to be that bright light for you. 

For me, I’ve been reading the new book by Kevin Pattereson and Alana Phelan, For Hire: Audition. I’ve been listening to podcasts from American Sex and Multiamory. And I’ve been watching shows and movies and videos that make me laugh, even if for just a few minutes.

As for my work and my business, I’m going to keep putting out new videos and doing work on projects to help folks with their relationships. Is this work frivolous right now? I don’t know, but I think we could argue about what is and isn’t worth doing right now. Helping people, thinking that just maybe my work is making things easier or better for others, is one of the things I can hold onto now while things are hard, while I’m stuck at home unsure when I’ll be able to leave again or when things might ever get back to something even close to normal. I’m also going to be letting all of my clients know they can renegotiate the rates they pay for services if their income is impacted by the pandemic. This applies to you reading this too – if you’ve wanted to take one of my online classes but it’s been out of reach financially, let me know and we can work out something for you.

If there’s one thing I want to leave you with from this statement, it’s that this is a time to work with each other, to support each other and love each other. We can do that through social distancing, we can do it through sending money or food or resources to those who need it, and we can do it through loving each other as much as possible. With this much trauma and fear, we need love and kindness, so spread that goodness around as much as you can.

With love,

Dr. Liz

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