As an empath and an entertainer, my favorite aspect of work has always been meaningful connections with others. I'm an Enneagram 2 (the helper) and a Myers-Briggs INFJ (the social worker), both marked by a desire to bless, heal, encourage, inspire, challenge, and love people with open arms.
As an introvert, I think I've often underestimated how much I define myself by my interactions with others - even while recognizing that all of us are shaped so much by the people around us. I looked at quarantine initially as an opportunity to write, to journal, to compose, to rest, and to work on projects, but the longer it's gone on, the more I've found myself craving connection. And while I've gotten to connect via technology and even a few visits, there isn't the regularity from before.
I've been wrestling with loneliness and feelings of worthlessness and futility - what use am I to my community if I can't smile at them, hold them, laugh and cry with them, sing and play with them? And as these feelings have coalesced into words, I remember Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet" and Nouwen's "The Inner Voice of Love," both of which say much about the importance of community and solitude.
And so now I'm looking at quarantine not only as an opportunity to do the aforementioned, but as a reminder of the following:
1. I have worth because I am, not because I do.
2. I can still do things for my community even when not with them.
3. My identity is not defined by others, only influenced.
4. I am fabulous and worthy of love and respect.
5. I want to surround myself with fabulous people who remind me of points 1-4, and find creative ways to be in community with them.