I think I can speak for the majority by saying as 2020 approached we anticipated the insight, clarity, vision, planning and purpose that the new year would bring.
Even my own marketing strategy included a play on 2020 being a leap year. And Oprah embarked on a “2020 Vision Tour”. What more validation did we need that 2020 was about to elevate our lives!
But the other day someone jokingly said “2020 Vision… Where?”
None of us could have imagined that within the first quarter we would face a worldwide pandemic. Coronavirus/COVID-19 has brought alot of plans to a halt leaving many to feel defeated and helpless.
But, should it?
I’d be remiss to ignore the effects this virus has had so many of our lives. In fact, I personally know of almost a dozen people who’ve succumbed to the effects of Coronavirus and lost their lives. The current health crisis is sobering to say the least.
So, the idea of even focusing your thoughts and attention on the irony of cliche’ is probably the last thing on your mind.
Yet, with social distancing and businesses still being closed we have so much time to do just that – THINK.
The thoughts we focus on could mean our very lives. Some would even argue that a psychological warfare is more pervasive than a biological pandemic.
As a proud introvert and homebody I admit that my experience with social distancing didn’t initially feel like the punishment displayed in parodies across the internet.
It actually felt liberating at times. There’s even a semblance of validity now that introspection is being encouraged. Maybe that’s what the year 2020 is proving to be after all – an unveiling of your inner self.
At first glance it may only seem that the year shouldn’t be written off as a loss. There’s no denying that life as we know it less than six months ago has drastically changed.
Yet, somewhere amidst the turmoil I see clarity and hope on the horizon. The biggest lesson so far is to reevaluate what is truly important.
“Teach us to use wisely all the time we have.”Psalms 90:12
For sure, solitude presents each of us an opportunity to reflect. True, when you’re not used to it, you may initially feel depressed, saddened or even hopeless. But when you surrender to it, something beautiful happens. You often find even more than what you were looking for.
Meditation, mindfulness, prayer. These are the habits of mentally and emotionally intelligent people. There’s a calmness that comes from knowing your strengths, weaknesses, standards, boundaries, dreams, aspirations and goals. And you don’t stumble upon them overnight. But there’s something even more powerful than that.
When you discover your purpose for living, your life journey becomes lightened like high beams on a dark road.
Even more powerful is the a alignment of your purpose with a higher power. The Creator of the Universe.
For me, social distancing is providing an opportunity for honest self examination and strengthening my faith.
I find myself thinking “Am I reflecting HIS light?” “How genuine are my motives?” “Am I living with faith and resiliency?” “How can I improve?”
Very serious questions…for very serious times.
The reality for a lot of people is that mental health has been neglected for so long it’s become the norm. For others, they’ve never given attention to it. Years ago, American psychologist Abraham Maslow recognized that in order to feel complete we need to give attention to several areas of our lives: physiological, safety, spiritual, esteem, self actualization.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs teaches us the importance of giving attention to several areas of our lives. It has even been the theme of several Ted Talks.
This year I chose “Joy” as my intention.
Initially I thought it would allow me to focus on the outward display of happiness and jubilation. Then came COVID-19. Like many people, I’ve felt an increase in anxiety and stretching of my comfort zone. I’ve had to intentionally search for moments of joy.
But, did you know that joy is more of an inside job?
It’s actually more about inner peace and contentment than about outward displays or circumstantial feelings.
So, I can see clearly now.
My joy comes from having a close relationship with my heavenly father, from knowing that I’ve been given the opportunity to draw closer to Him and from having meaningful relationships with others who have such joy.
What is 2020 helping you see clearly?