The 2020 Mirror
Oh how easy it can be to just rest on the surface; create a schedule, follow a plan, go to work, make the appointments, drop off for the activities, eat, hang with friends, workout, get some rest and begin again.
But when it all stops....we are left with just ourselves. What then?
2020 might as well have been a mirror. This is you, this is the world you have created and are part of, this is what you've done, what you haven't done, who you've fought for and who you have forsaken, who and what you've voted for, the example you are setting, and the life you've been living. This is who you are without all the hubbub, without all the noise, without the story you've mentally written and repeatedly tell.
These past 9 months have been contemplative to say the least. From a young age, I knew intimately not everybody could feel joy the way I did, not everyone could feel loved the way I did, and it was then that I learned happiness is a practice and not just innately felt on a daily basis.
Through the years, I've been lucky enough to witness both personally and through many beautiful relationships much of what it means to be human; the darkness and light, the joy and the pain, the suffering and survival, births and deaths, sickness and health, sadness and joy, unease and peacefulness, etc. To be human means to traverse the broad spectrum of emotions we are lucky enough to experience.
It offers me great solace to know that we only feel strong because at some point we've felt weak, we only feel healthy because we've been injured and sick, we only know loneliness because we've shared in the comfort of a loved one, we only know of our incredible resilience because we have survived even the most painful of heartbreaks. The human cycle is heart-wrenchingly beautiful.
This year we've been witness to epic suffering; people have suffered countless illnesses, many have died, businesses have been forced to close, marriages have crumbled, people have lost jobs, addiction has skyrocketed, mental health challenges have increased and so much more. It's been tough for sure. Alas, pushing it away or wishing it were different is futile. So what now? We have no control over the future, and we cannot change the past so, very simply, the only thing we have the ability to influence is the present moment.
Maybe the 2020 'mirror' is an offering of sorts, an offer to awaken to what is before us. What if we begin anew and we set our gratitude standards so low that we are grateful for simple things; a loved one's smile, the rising sun, the food on our table, shelter over our heads, a phone call from a friend, a walk in the woods, the ability to see, the ability to feel, to taste, to move, to breathe...whatever gifts each of us has been given, maybe we pause, breathe them in, and be grateful for another day of being human.
As Pema Chodron said, “maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast but what we find as practitioners is nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know".
Wishing you health, safety, happiness, and the ability to walk through your days with ease.