The coronavirus pandemic has brought enormous change to almost every area of life — how we live, where we live, where we work, what we do for a living, what it means to be a child, what “family” means, and what is important in our daily lives.
This was a year of “celebrations on hold”–from simple weekend dinners–to birthdays, weddings, holidays, graduations, religious life proceedings and so on. Zoom Chats became our gathering place and in person parties became “drive-by” events!
During the initial Covid-induced lockdown and then the reemergence of stricter guidelines, many of us have had the time to dig deeper and ponder such existential questions as, “what’s my purpose, what’s my next step, and where do I belong?”
For myself, and I assume for many others in search of answers, few materialized. Brain fog became a constant weather pattern and what used to be easy “yes” and “no” answers, moved toward “maybes,” and “we’ll sees;” ambiguity became the new normal, leaving us confused and disappointed. These uncertainties affected our bodies and minds–even my walks led me along uncertain routes toward uncertain destinations; the exercise always felt good but destinations were more difficult to decipher.
Humans like to arrive, to feel accomplished, to go full circle, just like the calender year. Every year brings a cycle of hope; we look to January to start our diet, quit smoking, take up yoga, join a gym, clean the basement (hah!), and finally become the person we’ve longed to be–living our “best life;” we believe in the power of change, certain that “this is our year!”
Some people admit defeat by the end of January, while others continue on for another month or two. By April, we’re focused on getting it together before the summer, and by November, many have thrown in the towel, vowing that next year will be “the year” it all gets done. It’s this hope that, thankfully, never dies — it gives us the optimism and fortitude to keep on keepin’ on.
And with that sentiment at the end of 2020, I invite you to move toward the promise of hope. Hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one desires will happen. As it is written in Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
I’d like to close on this positive note of hope and faith, even as we feel undercurrents of the opposite. I sense a turn in our consciousness, from doom and gloom to optimism with good reason(s)—a life-saving vaccine; taking action against discrimination; working together to assist those less fortunate (volunteering and bringing supplies to food banks), and so on.
Personally, 2020 has given me an opportunity to appreciate what is, rather than what is not, and to reach out to those who have supported, loved, and mentored me throughout the years–to express my gratitude.
Wherever you find yourself at the end of this devastating year, I pray that you all experience better days ahead–one of equality, abundance, and healing…of hearts, bodies and minds. We deserve nothing less!!
Lets walk together into the new year, knowing that we are better for this. I wish for all of you, a more peaceful, loving, and healthy 2021—moving one step at a time!
Happy New Year!