Last year on 1/1/20, I posted a picture of glasses, and said that I welcomed “2020 vision” with excitement for two main reasons. The first was that 2019 broke me in many ways. I know this sounds exaggerated and even dark, but I don’t know how else to describe it. There were pieces of me that had been held together with tape and glue that simply needed to give, there were habits, commitments, and roles that simply no longer fit, that needed to take new form. There were triggers, scars, wounds and burns that were being pushed aside and not being given the attention or care they deserved. There were paths that had reached a dead end, there were projects that had been built to their capacity, and there were roles that had been outworn. There were places that had been frequented far too often, people that I had carelessly allowed to trespass into an overstayed welcome and behaviors I had either invited or tolerated around me that were not aligned with who I am. I had to find my way back to me, knowing very well that the journey would not come without breaks. Breaks in all areas of me and my life. The kind of breaks that allow for proper healing in place of stunted growth. I was spread so thin that I had created an autopilot version of myself, I know this because there are a great many things that I know I accomplished that year that I have no recollection of doing. If I could describe 2019 as a sound, it would be screeching halt, with ongoing collisions, glass shattering and lots of gasps. If 2019 could speak it would have said, “enough is enough, let’s rip off this damn bandaid.” And without checking if I, or better said, we, were ready or had even braised for the impact, it charged full speed ahead. 2019 brought on difficult news, changes and surprises. It tested me and my family in ways we had never been tested.
The second reason I welcomed 2020 is because I was once again excited by change, and was eager to connect the dots. Pieces of me needed to give. Habits, commitments, and roles needed to take new form. My family needed a different kind of attention from me. The triggers, scars, wounds and burns needed to properly heal. Most of all, there were new paths to be created, new purpose to be discovered, new foundations needed to be laid, new roles to discover and new adventures and lessons to open up to. Change has always been something I welcomed with open arms, and I had been pushing it away for a while. I had forgotten how to welcome change. And as if it had heard me contemplate this, 2019 came and pretty much said, “if it’s change you want…..” The amount and magnitude of those changes rocked me and my family to our core. But it also gave each of us the opportunity to discover strength that we didn’t realize we had, because we had never been asked by life to use these particular muscles. It gave each of us the opportunity to rise to the occasion. And we did. Each of us did. Together. And while 2019 broke me in many ways, I believe it was a breaking that needed to happen. 2019 tore away old habits, roles, and routines all at once. But once they broke off, and the tears subsided, I began to walk again in 2020, and was surprised by the levity this break brought, and the poise I still possessed. 2019 pulled the rug from beneath us without warning, many times over. In 2020 we began to brace for each day with courage instead of fear. 2019 removed many things and people from our lives. But in 2020 we learned that those that stood by our sides were the ones that mattered. 2019 introduced tough decisions, it forced upon us many difficult situations. 2020 reminded us that everything serves as a way to grow and learn. Faith above all else was our saving grace, the belief in the strongest sense that “everything is meant to be.” Faith gave us the ability to ride through each valley with the knowledge that a new mountain lay ahead, giving way to a new peak. Faith gave us the reminder of security that we needed. Faith gave us the patience to be open to the events that unfolded, allowing us to connect the dots in retrospect. And with each break, and the pain of each break, came a relinquishing sigh albeit tearful, tethered on by the faith that “this too shall pass,” and that even that which didn’t make sense at all, would eventually or would serve a different purpose. 2019 forced us to rely on our faith. 2020 filled us with gratitude for the strength, clarity and courage that our faith had given us.
When the world spiraled and the changes of 2020 came, we embraced them in a way that we would not have, had 2019 not knocked us down the way it did. We used our now strengthened muscles to deal with the changes. We chased, sought out and sat in gratitude as often and for as long as possible, whenever possible. We recognized that gratitude allowed us the ability to diminish the denser, darker and more difficult emotions that crept into our hearts like: fear, anxiety, sadness, anger or resentment. Gratitude allowed us to let go of things with ease, because that was needed too in 2020. We were reminded that if faith held our hand once, it would do so again. And so we turned to faith in words, actions and thoughts. Most of all, we did not stop healing. 2020 required of us to heal from the pains of 2019, and it remained our number one priority, even when it wasn’t at the forefront of our minds. We named emotions, and talked about them in ways we had never before. We cried…. a lot. And we laughed… a lot. And sometimes at the same time. We listened a great deal more, even when it was hard to hear or digest what we were being told. We gave more hugs and let cuddles linger. We were patient, even when it was hard…. with each other and with ourselves. We were generous: with our time, our love, our understanding, our affection, our words, and even our thoughts. We supported and helped each other in new ways, and the extra time and proximity we had together allowed us to celebrate each other in new ways. Even when routine was introduced back into our lives, it did not interfere with the new habits we had adopted.
2020 gave us the ability to see things in a new light. We looked at our pain with the knowledge that it can be named, described, and serve for growth. We looked at our fears with the knowledge that it can be combated with courage, even if it lingers. We looked at our anxiety with the knowledge that it can be subdued. We looked at our sadness with the knowledge that it is a valley in the many peaks in valleys of our lives and it too gives way to happiness. And interestingly enough, they can even co-exist. We looked at our anger with the knowledge that it is often a discomfort of something else and learned to put a magnifying glass to that. We looked at change with the knowledge that it is required sometimes, that the pain that tears us open also allows room for light and love, that even when not welcomed, it can bring about positive outcomes, and that sometimes we reject the smallest of changes for the simple reason of habit. Learning how to become comfortable in the uncomfortable is a great skill to develop.
This vision allowed us to see the unfolding world events with different sight. It was not what we asked for collectively when we all spoke of 2020 vision, but it is clearer vision nonetheless. 2020 vision is the ability to see things with more clarity, as opposed to rosy glasses or shades. And I believe that in many ways, this is exactly what we were granted. Many voices, often silenced, were heard. Many people, often still, acted. Many things, before accepted, are being questioned. Many lines, drawn in the sand, became blurred. Many opinions, that seemed to be black and white, turned many shades of grey. 2020 vision allowed us to see things that made us experience a spectrum of emotions, both in depth and breadth. 2020 vision gave us the ability to see things that were hidden or unclear to us. It made us unveil topics we had never faced. Many people, separated by culture, background, language, borders, politics, opinions, status or money, were connected by an experience with an underlying commonality. 2020 vision made the world smaller than it has ever been before. Louder. Emotional. Chaotic. Human.
The question is, what will we do with this clarity, with this new sight? Will we put on shades or rosy colored glasses? Or will we rise from the difficult emotions and experiences, fortified, ready to heal, ready to rise to the occasion?
So today, I welcome 2021. I welcome it with hope, with faith and with an open heart and mind.