There’s a dilemma that I have been contemplating for a while now. I don’t have a fixed and permanent answer. I am constantly wavering between yes and no.
My dilemma is, should I or should I not get vaccinated?
Yes, because I want my freedom.
No, because I don’t need the vaccines.
As you can see, right at the onset, there already exists a logical error to this dilemma. The deciding factor should be health, not freedom. But what I have seen is that some people take the shots because they want their freedom. It’s like buying apple not because you want the apple but because you want to avoid buying orange.
Next, I shift my thought process to another perspective: What’s the value of this dilemma for me? What am I to learn and to gain from this situation?
At this point of the pandemic development, the requirement for proof of vaccination in some public places appear as a block to me. So I look within myself, what is my psychological representation of that block?
The exterior block is only limiting my social activities, not survival activities like grocery shopping or a trip to the medical clinic. Meaning that I have some self-imposed inhibitions to refrain myself from more extensive human interactions. How about from intimate relationships? Seems like the latter isn’t impacted by this block.
In terms of a social life, I feel a kind of psychological prison, not from the requirement of vaccination passport, but from my psychological space. I feel that there are many blocks, not just around me, but also something heavy laying on me, like a thick blanket, suffocating me, keeping me in darkness, as a sort of punishment perhaps. I am already so used to the heavy feeling that most of the time I am not even aware that it is there. For most of my life, I just co-exist with it, breathing shallowly, as that’s all the air I can get inside that trap.
I think the direction of the block is significant. Top down tends to signify institutional, systemic, structural, hierarchical oppression. One individual against a collective group.
Next, I switch to another angle recently highlighted by a consideration of our condo board. They would consider reopening our condo gym if those who enter the premise can comply with the rules, ie., that they are masked and vaccinated. That didn’t sit well with me, not because that meant that I would still not be able to use the gym, but because it meant that John could go in and I couldn’t. I have serious issues with that!
Drilling deeper into those issues are all the emotions relating to discrimination and segregation. When I was a child, I felt that I existed on the sidelines, watching the other kids take center stage in their lives, like I had no life of my own, or none that was worth celebrating and acknowledging. The kids at the center stage would say one thing, and the teachers would applaud and thought it was witty. But when I said exactly the same thing, everyone would turn against me and attack me.
This apartheid experience was already in me when I was a child. It didn’t just happen now. The pandemic only helped to illuminate this imprint of inequality and injustice within me.
The above two illuminations help to release the main ingredients inside me that are manufacturing the exterior restriction. In addition to these releases, I also need to rebuild myself psychologically so that I am standing in a space that is free of restriction. Namely, I need to heal the low sense of self that initially positioned me to exist only on the sidelines, as well as the need for domination or abuse that kept me trapped. All the neurological patterns that are based on such psychological structure need to be cleared too.
Next, inject positive thoughts, affirmations, feelings, etc., that aligned exactly to what I desire—freedom from discrimination and restriction.
At the beginning of this article, I had the belief that I had to be subjected to this confiscation of my rights and freedom. But after I cleared the two wounds above, this belief came to the forefront of my conscious awareness. I was appalled and said no. No, I don’t have to be stripped of all that I need or that is entitled to me. Specifically, I do not allow nor accept any such treatment! Oh, there are some deeper emotional wounds here which I have to heal.
Notice that not once in my exploration of this dilemma did I examine the health effects of the virus or vaccine. The external manifestation is never the root cause, and hence never the permanent solution. If indeed my root cause is health related, then I would be suffering from the health effects rather than from the psychological domino effects.
I know that this is a collective event, and yet my approach toward this particular dilemma is 100% personal. Because collective events are created and manifested by each and every single willing soul. So if I do my part, then there is one less individual soul participating in this collective drama.
Each individual is free to choose what to do. There is no one-size-fit-all answer. The right answer for each individual resides in the individual, not in the collective. Respect individual choices. You do you.