When we shifted into the new year, expressions of relief were plentiful that 2020 was finally over. Yet the pandemic has not ended. Uncertainty and unrest remain on multiple levels. What can we bring with us into 2021 as we continue to face loss, grief, restrictions, and fear? Through all of the suffering that has taken place, we can value the positives that rose through and utilize the lessons we learned.
Kindness on individual and collective levels popped up everywhere. People who had not suffered in this moment gave time, money, love, and help to others who did. People who had less than they had before, found gratitude for what remained, and offered new acts of kindness to others.
Priorities were frequently redefined. Slowed down by force or by choice, people examined the areas that previously received their time and attention. Reflection prompted many people to keep the most meaningful activities and let go of what no longer seemed so important.
Relationships were examined and strengthened. Once we no longer had an easy ability to see who we wanted, when we wanted, and how we wanted to see them, we assessed and prioritized the relationships most important to us. People went to great lengths to communicate in creative ways when personal interaction wasn’t easy or sometimes possible.
Clarity emerged regarding our goals, hopes, and the reality of what we control. People examined jobs, partners, finances, locations, family relationships, risk levels, and more. Changes resulted that better align our hopes and dreams for the future with the recognition that nothing is guaranteed and there is no time to waste.
Cleaning out and letting go happened within our physical spaces as well as on emotional and psychological levels. Unfinished business holding us back had more time to be addressed. While this process is painful and energetically challenging, it allows for the letting go of what may have been dragging behind us for too long. Freed space creates new opportunities.
There are more lessons and understandings we can keep beyond these. For the newly bereaved, it can be hard to find anything to hold onto or hope for. For those who have endured grief over many years, we may have already experienced this process and can be reminded to do so again. Regardless of our individual experiences of loss this past year, each of us can strive to take something of value that we learned into the new year. When we identify growth and new possibilities through this forced journey of change, we do it in honor of the life of our precious child, grandchild, or sibling.
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