The final day of 2020. I took some time to sit with the events and moments of the last twelve months, and though this year will be an unforgettable one for many reasons, I noticed myself write that this was the “year of resilience”. And I do think that’s true.
It has been a couple of months since my last blog post. Usually my writing partner and I post once a month. Personally, the fall and winter were very tumultuous. I know I am not the only one. Clouded by the uncertainty of a pandemic and the political and social unrest we have faced, there have been some difficult mountains to climb in the more intimate, familial and personal sense. But isn’t that often the case? We are individuals who make up the collective. As the world spins and grieves, discerns and laments, advocates and heals, so too do we in our own personal lives.
When I think about 2020, it feels as if we lived about ten years in one. The various stages and phases of the pandemic, the many emotions and fears, the amount of new recipes and zoom calls we tried. The relationships we saw deepen and the one’s we saw fade, the books we picked up and finished, the books we bought and never even started. The new home workouts and running plans, the depression we didn’t think would get worse, the anxiety we thought we had under control rearing its head again. The papers we had to write, the jobs we adjusted to out of the corners of our own bedrooms and homes. The new pets we purchased, the people we lost, the grief that came as we lost control of the familiar. The days we didn’t get out of bed until noon or didn’t get out of bed at all. The days we thought we would kill our kids. The days we couldn’t imagine doing life without our kids. The nights that loneliness felt even more palpable and thick. The weeks of hospitalizations and confusion. The yelling and the crying, the laughing and the pure enjoyment of a simple and slower pace of life.
What a year it has been for us all.
What a year of complete and utter resiliency of the human spirit.
Sometimes I think, “things surely cannot get more difficult than this?”. And then they do. And then somehow, we keep going. We find the spaces to breathe and hold and carry all that has come to us. We somehow, by grace I imagine, discover a deep well of strength within to just take another step, to make another cup of coffee and be there for those we love.
We are capable of far more than we can even imagine, you and I.
Individually and collectively, we have been more resilient this year than perhaps we have been in a very long time. How much happened this year and yet, we are still breathing, we are still here. I don’t have much to say about going forward or what things could look like for 2021. Really we cannot know. But taking time to honour the resilience we have seen rise within us this year is important. It will be important when other difficult days or years come for us. Because they will. And as the forever wise Pema Chodron says,
“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy…When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into it’s dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment”
May you be well, honouring the strength you carry within, the strength you are not even aware that you have…yet.