How exactly do we describe 2020 in a way that accurately captures it? Wildfires in Australia and California, a global pandemic that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, locusts, murder hornets, the boiling point of racial injustice - and that's just the first half.
We're getting closer to the end of the year. That feeling you have of surviving a beatdown isn't really off the mark. Our lives have been turned upside down and inside out, and yet we have been expected to function somehow. The things we took for granted - a simple morning routine, our daily commute, meeting up with a friend for coffee, physical touch - became limited, and in some cases taken completely away from us. The inner turmoil and chaos created as a result led to a very real fear of not being able to cope - or even survive.
So as we stand now, at the edge of 2021, how do we look ahead in anticipation? (Seriously, what is a plan?). How do we take that leap of faith and hope? With all the upheaval we faced this year, even though we may have experienced what feels like the worst of times, we also got to see (and maybe even be part of) the beauty of human kindness and togetherness (see Some Good News, for example). To be able to notice this - to notice the good and absorb it, and build hope again - it is imperative that we stay present.
Go forward with intention, noticing the ground under your feet with each step. Try to take in your experiences with new awareness. You may want to avoid this, because there is so much that you would prefer not to see, or feel. That's expected. Having hope right now may be a longshot - but noticing the gifts of the present may not be.
The video below was created earlier in the pandemic, and is still relevant today:
So yes, take the time to reflect, grieve, celebrate - but be sure to stay present.
All the best for the rest of 2020, and Happy Holidays to you and your family!
Durel Allen, MSW RSW
Psychotherapist, Founder & Principal - Heartspring Therapy