My innate need for control has its own strong mind and will. While the world as we know it changes, my own  internal world tries to keep things ‘the same’. Stopping the boat from rocking because that way I feel a sense of ‘ok-ness’ (technical word!).

Let’s keep things going, that little voice in my head whispers, she whispers louder at night, when the world sleeps, she gets grumpier. She is lining up neat, symetrical rows. Whispering, what is working and what is not working. As night gets darker, and deeper, her voice gets louder. Till she is shouting, in my head, ways in which I may keep things in order. In this time of chaos and unknowns. I must keep control of things, giving up control, leads to anxiety and panic….or does it?

On day one of Corona Virus Ireland Lockdown, I moved house, with my nine year old son. We moved into our dainty unfinished Irish cottage, our first home. Our home we had bought in what seemed calmer times. I knocked down walls, painted over tired, ugly magnolia, ripped up old yellowing floors, scrubbed bat infested tanks, cut down branches, and frantically tried to turn an old tired Irish cottage into a cozy, sanctuary we would call home. I was tired, no, I was exhausted. Running on adrenalin, forgetting to eat, sleep was a disturbed luxury, and I hit the wall, all the while finishing my degree in Psychotherapy.

We are in unprecedented times, and I was going full throttle. It was time to let go, surrender, let the balls drop, ask for help, be ok with uncertainty. I pressed pause on my work as a therapist. I needed to remember to eat wholesome food again. Rest. Repair. And re-assess. The voice in my head was a steam train careering down the tracks at full speed, my body was tired, flooded with chaos, overwhelmed and exhausted.

One day, I tripped. My pride hit hard, my ego was dented. I cried tears of exhaustion, fear, overwhelm, unknowns, loneliness, pain, uncertainty and loss.

When my parents died, I was left with scars. I built a wall that protected me, that rigid wall was my guard, I could not control their deaths, but I could control how I lived my life from then on. My barrier, in times of fear, was to wall up and go within.

I stopped. I allowed us to live in an un-finished cottage. I allowed chaos. I gave up my need for control. Control gave me something to hold onto, or so I thought. It gave me a sense of ‘fleeting’ peace. It gave me certainty when I was living in an uncertain world. My little voice was crying out to me, but I was not ready to listen. Until now.

In these uncertain times, fear is high. Love is low. It was time to relinquish control, embrace uncertainty, and live from a place of love. I meditated again, I sat and watched the skies. I started to breathe, walk in nature, swim in the cold seas again. I decided to trust in the unknown, allow uncertainty to guide me. Sit comfortably with change, I stopped trying.

We are happy in our new (old) cottage in the West of Ireland. It embraces the beauty of the wild Irish landscape, where old stone walls meander through the hills, wild flowers grow down the banks of the streams, water trickles over rocks, cold, fresh and tasty to the palette. We collect it in glass bottles and carry it home. We watch as turf is stacked. Sheep walk the roads because the grass is better on the curb side. Cattle lay in the sunny patches of fields in clusters. Beauty is everywhere. Nature is our greatest teacher. In this time of uncertainty, flowers still grow, trees still flourish in lush green leaf. Rivers still flow, and seas still roar. I take my guide from nature, sit awhile, be still, slow down and breathe. I now welcome the new world, I open up to uncertainty. I give control away, and allow the ground to move under my feet. I allow not knowing, if pain and anxiety present themselves I greet them at the door with a smile.