Catharsis

How can we find release from the pressures of lockdown or the other stresses of life that are afflicting us? Can there be catharsis through music, drama, dance, tears or just going for a walk? A walk through the tree cathedral at Whipsnade recently was one way to try to find peace.

We are all feeling the strain of the pandemic in various ways. Under pressure our weak points are exposed. But can we find more creative ways of releasing the pent-up energy that has built over these last months?

It seems that one common method is to go walking or jogging. On Sunday morning as I drove to the allotment there appeared to be an endless stream of walkers and joggers. Some were alone, others were in family groups and others were couples walking holding hands.

The ways we find to break out of the prison that is holding us in during lockdown are many and varied. We have perhaps seen on YouTube video clips of people exercising. Or maybe we have watched films that have been sent to us by friends of people doing weird and wonderful things. Possibly we have engaged in activities just as extraordinary!

For me catharsis has come through tears. I was reading the hymn that I shared In last week’s blog, but when I reached the last verse I could hardly continue as my emotions took over. After a telephone call which had been very supportive, I found myself sobbing, for reasons I still don’t fully understand. 

I feel this has been a release, a way of acknowledging the stresses and strains and allowing them to be expressed in a way that may help and heal. 

For others it may not be so positive. Our condition may feel more like a whirlpool from which there seems to be no escape. Tears may be bitter, expressing frustration. Movement may be a trembling which is impossible to stop, rather than a way of releasing inner conflicts. For there to be catharsis there needs to be a purging of the pain, and a rediscovery of self-worth, of being loved and cherished. 

When a group is embroiled in conflict it may be that allowing ourselves to be seen to be vulnerable helps everyone to acknowledge their own needs and find ways of caring for each other. 

I hope that as individuals, families, local communities, nations and a global network of people we can find catharsis and a way to healing.

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