Deep Reflection of 2020
As 2020 skids to an end, it allows a time of reflection on a year that has thrown the world, not only a curve ball, but into chaos, upheaval, fear and pain. 2020 had forced change upon this old world, ripping off thick scabs and throwing fuel on an low burning flame. In this year of crisis, we have had to dig deep in our soul to maintain any sort of “normalcy” in our lives. What have we learned? What have we had to let go of? Where have we grown? Where have we regressed in humanity? What values have been hardened or shifted into new perspectives? What have we realized about the importance of people, things and standards and what is just excess baggage that weighs us down?
From my vantage point, at first, I saw hope and unity emerging from the pandemic. I witnessed a humanity that realized how similar, vulnerable, and dependent we are on each other. Not only were our immune systems at risk of a virus, but our lively hoods, our mental health and our human connections became exposed, susceptible and defenseless against the virus, isolation and the inability to live our lives as we always have. Our very freedom to move through the world felt assaulted and we needed each other to get through it. People found new ways to communicate and come together, seemingly over night. In many ways, we dug into our creativity, resourcefulness and resilience. We found ourselves caring a little more for each other by being apart, at first.
Then May came and brought with it the tragedy of brutality, death, unrest, anger, fear and destruction. Maybe isolation, as it drug on, got to people. Maybe they had more time to think, sit with and allow suppressed feelings to bubble up and overflow. Turmoil filled the streets, thoughts and media. The virus became less important and anger blurred the lines of safety, human rights and resilience.
With warmer weather, people began to emerge from their homes, remembering that outdoors, hiking trails and fresh air has always been available to them. A small sigh of relief for warmth, sun and movement helped ease the burden of isolation and boredom. Health seemed to take a new priority for many. A bright spot coming from the darkness of the pandemic.
As the year, the virus, and the social unrest dragged on into the summer, businesses began to collapse, people grew weary and fear of survival grew heavy. In the glow of the fires of hatred, change and discord, the political blaze began to explode. Friends and family turned on each other if their values did not align perfectly. Either you were angry and ready to throw down or you were too positive and accused of ignoring the issues. Everything became black and white with no in between. Racist, Liberal, Conservative, Brutality, Conspiracy, Privileged, Fake, Oppressed and many more words, boxes to check, continued to create deeper, darker barriers between people. Unity of any resemblance, shattered like fine crystal to the pits of a quarry. It almost felt that humanity was striving for war, desiring to lash out, rip flesh from bone and leave rubble, blood and fire in its wake.
Summer turning to fall gave way to more concerns of an increased spread of the virus, as schools struggled to make the best decisions for staff and students. More businesses were claimed as collateral damage of shut downs and lack of customer interactions. Political rivalries heated the media, and the public witnessed juvenile behaviors in those that were supposed to be examples and leaders. Hopelessness sat down with hatred, fear and Covid 19 and began to plan the demise of humanity.
With winter approaching to force us all back into isolation, resistance pushed back, cases rose and limits on family gathers were set as the holidays approached. People are fatigued with this virus, the media, the politics, the isolation, the worry, and the unknown. As nothing seems to established in reality and opinions still flaring, we come toward 2021. Have we learned anything? Have we changed in any way? Will we allow the lessons of 2020 to seep into our bones and create a renewed world, community and love for each other?
For me, I have taken the time to explore and learn things that I did not have the time for before the shut down. I, like most, was constantly on the treadmill to no where, just trying to get through each day, each to do list and each pile of laundry. I had goals, dreams, needs that I set aside and labeled as just not important right now. They never would be important if I kept doing and not feeling, learning and being. Can you relate?
Have you taken the time to consider what you have learned from this year? What you have accomplished amongst the rubble of a pandemic, social unrest and strained finances? As humans, we are given these challenges to allow us to grow, evaluate what is important and release all that block us from joy, happiness and creativity.
From the intention I set on January 1, 2020, to this final days thoughts, December 31, 2020, I have emerged more spiritual, grounded, liberated and grateful than I have been in years. Through meditation, yoga trainings, journaling, counseling, debating, reading, and just digging deep, I am coming back to my authentic self. I did not even realize how much I had lost who I am to my core, until I faced the demons that I was holding onto with clenched fists. This year has forced letting go of everything from anger, pain and disappointments to friendships, careers choices and my yoga studio. My tears have fallen, but even through the saltiness of loss, I am seeing more clearly than I ever have in my entire 50 years.
I recognize my imperfections and own them with all I am. I have cleansed my “should have”s and allowed those to shine as “I get to”s. I realize that I do not have to please people, appease them or even explain myself in any way. I am a positive, compassionate, loving, giving person who is stubborn, strong, and determined to do things my way, a way that feels real, authentic and true to my soul. Have I always known this about myself? Probably, in some ways, I have. Have I always lived in that truth? Absolutely not. I spent so much of my life making sure everyone else was happy, getting what they needed and wanted, ignoring that part of me. But 2020 has brought me through such an awakening of self, that I no longer feel the need to be small, serving and pacifying. I need to shine, be loud, and shout from the top of mountains about my needs, my desires, and my truths! And it feels good to be in this place of value, hope, and luminescence. I stand as the base of this mountain on this day, where I will forge my path to the top. When I get there, everyone will know my glow, my voice and my heart, because I allowed the adversities of 2020 to be a guide from the darkness of rock bottom to the panoramic, enlightened view from the peak of the tallest mountain.
So as you wait for these last few hours of 2020 to pass, I hope you reflect on your path that your have traveled over the last 366 days (2020 was also a leap year). Where have you grown? What are the blessings that emerged from isolation, fear, and the unknown? How did you use your time? Did you seethe in anger and hopelessness or did you seize the opportunity of time and peace? Have you risen from the ashes of this year to a renewal of life, love and opportunity? Make the choice now, if you have not already, to sit in reflection, hope and gratitude. Allow these pieces to come together for you to discover, own, and embody your blessings and authentic self and purpose.
I wish you love, blessings, health, abundance and joy as we celebrate the rebirth of the year and renewal of hope for humanity.