This has been a rough year. I don’t know if there is another way to summarize our collective reality. As people living within the United States, we are often sheltered from the reality of how little we actually can control in life. We are now forced to question the reality that we once knew.
My intent is not to be really intense right now. At the same time, we are living in a very intense season and everyone has been talking about the struggle to cope. This struggle is universally felt as we move through the 2020 holiday season.
So what do we do? First, I believe that we start with accepting our reality. We are at war. The war that we have, in this nation, of being against one another is an illusion. The true war that we face is a fight for our sanity and to maintain our humanity. We’re in a mess.
Once we have accepted our reality for what it is, the next trap, that blocks our growth, is usually judgment. It is very easy to see a problem and start attributing blame to someone or something. We could do that, but it will not solve anything. There is another move we can take. We can take responsibility.
I cannot fix the issues that our country is facing. No one person has the ability to do that. But what I can do is find appropriate moves towards accepting responsibility for what I can control and hopefully finding some grace for us all.
To make the shift in finding appropriate levels of responsibility, I imagine that I am living 1,000 years ago, and my community is being attacked by invaders. When our community is under attack, we should not gear most of our resources and efforts in developing prettier pottery or planting more fields of flowers. Priorities should shift in seasons of war. We make pottery for it’s utilitarian functions and plant in our fields what is necessary for survival.
Humans have not changed much in 1,000 years. We still need to adjust our methods of self-care to reflect what’s happening in the here-and-now. My self-care has shifted from having get-togethers with friends and attending zumba to communicating new limitations, giving myself space to grieve my losses, and creating new playlists to help me remain focused on my goals. My hope for you is that you give yourself permission to adjust your self-care strategies.
In addition to adjusting our self-care strategies for survival, we have to find ways to guard the precious simple pleasures of life that remind us why we fight. Simple pleasures include hearing a baby laugh, seeing a flower in an unexpected spot, watching a sunrise, or helping a turtle cross the road. These are simple things that are worth fighting for and worth enjoying.
Be adaptive. Adjust your self-care strategies, and don’t forget to stop and enjoy simpler pleasures. We can do this. We have done it before, and we can do it again. Best wishes to you all.