As much as I have tried to focus on the blessings of this year and the good that still exists, this year has had it’s fair share of pain. I believe we must acknowledge the pain and work to heal it before we can emerge from it; otherwise it just becomes baggage we carry and grudges we hold. All of us have been stunned by what has happened in our country and around the world. I admit most of it seems completely unbelievable that so much could have happened in a single year and yet here we are in December bearing the bruises from it. We all feel the burden this year has put on our shoulders.
The most painful for me has been the loss of friends because we didn’t share the same views on matters. I heard from many and experienced it myself the loss of relationships, people known for years, because we didn’t share the same viewpoint on a matter. We didn’t agree politically or religiously. We didn’t agree on the justification for riots, chaos and noise. We didn’t agree on the devastation or who was right, wrong, the victim and the innocent. Then there were lies, stealing and more that also occurred to people we called friends! It breaks my heart to see and experience these things and yet it all happened. It happened this year in a big flurry of a storm that never seemed to cease or at least let up. Yes, I realize these types of things always happen but they seemed to happen a lot more this year, a year where we needed to pull together. A year we needed to intentionally work to unravel things went very wrong and continued without mercy destroying our relationships along with it.
2020 has been an emotional year and I don’t have any great answers for how to fix some of the problems that exist in our world. I can’t offer any advice that would make it all better either. What I can say is it takes all of us putting aside our differences and wanting to make things better for everyone. We have to be willing to overlook our hurt and throb it is giving us. We have to let trust in humankind be restored. It is not easy for sure. Sometimes people say and do some really hurtful things but I have to believe most of us underneath that are decent people just trying to do what they believe is right. We have to realize that not everyone will agree with us and that is really alright.
The losses of 2020 are drastic but so much of it is of our own doing. We have let things consume us to the point we stopped looking for our own information and discerning our own opinions. We raged against each other if they didn’t agree with us to the point no one was listening to each other and as a result we burned not only cities but connections to each other. Both are leaving ugly scars on our souls and places we live. Our streets are in rubble, our landscape tore up and burnt.
The spark of hope comes when we decide enough is enough. It happens when we decide we don’t want to live like this anymore and we work to repair and rebuild. We begin to heal ourselves and use that motivation to help others. We use the scars we gained from those experiences to help us remember what not to do again or what to do differently next time. We try. Most importantly, we try and try again. We endure the lessons and pain from failing to try again because it is important, right, what we need and what we want.
Looking forward into 2021, I am worried and optimistic. I worry because there is still so much unrest in our country. There is still so much healing needed alongside rebuilding our towns, small businesses and relationships. I worry some will see the pain as injustice crippling us further instead of how to fix it. I worry words like racism will be devalued because of how we have used them this year and we will be hardened against being able to see true instance of them needing our help. Despite these worries though I am optimistic or at least trying to be. There is still hope, good in the world and people ready to rebuild. There is action already underway to clean up, fix and reopen. There are apologies, hugs and tears as we reclaim our friendships and connections to each other.
2020 has certainly delivered on the shiners and bruises in so many areas of our lives. I personally pray for 2021 to be better but I know that it is a long road to recovery sometimes. I pray the friendships and relationships ruined this year are able to be healed and rebuilt from a place of love. What this however all points to is our own need to align with what is right in our lives for us individually and as communities. It is alright to want better but knowing what that is requires us all to speak about it, work on it together and be a part of the process because we all have a stake in it. There will probably be more scars, bruises and shiners along the way but the willingness to keep trying is how we make a better world emerge from the rubble.
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