Gratitude in a difficult year (2020?! Okay Next!)
2020 has been an emotional roller-coaster; we can all agree to that. We suddenly had to put our lives, dreams and aspirations on hold to help fight Covid-19. Many lost loved ones, jobs, weddings were postponed, people are struggling financially still now due to the pandemic. Political battles boiled up, countries around the world erupt with protests against systemic racism, oppression and police brutality- Oh let’s also not forget everyday life/personal/family issues. Whew, I find myself unraveling emotionally, mentally and physically as I relive those moments. Sheer disappointment, anxiety, depression, fear are the first things I think of when reflecting on the curveballs #2020 is associated with.
First thing first, your feelings are valid!
I cannot stress that enough. What you are feeling right now no matter how high or low, they are real and they are valid. If you are anything like me, dealing with too many emotions at once is completely draining and overwhelming, it causes me to shut down, not just on myself but on others. Experiencing and having to express deep and complex emotions effectively is an arduous journey. Let’s just say none of us have that completely figured out yet. But all is not lost, despite the darkness that seemed to have changed our lives forever, we can certainly help improve how we view and deal with our feelings about this year. So that’s a good thing.
A while back, a friend of mine called me to simply vent about his job and how his plans for this year were completely shattered. For about 40 minutes I listened to his emotions slowly build from 0 to 100. Naturally, at that moment, all I wanted to do was console him. You see, instead of consoling him, I was quick to remind him to calm down. He’s overreacting, and to think positive; you know, I said “at least we got through it” he became very quiet. Instantly, I realized that I had made a terrible mistake. I apologized and told him that he was right to be upset and that it’s okay to feel what he is currently feeling and more.
I share this little story because after that conversation I kept thinking of how quick we are to dismiss other people’s feeling. If anything, after the year we all had, we should all have 100 free therapy sessions with the best therapist in the world.
All in all
Like I mentioned in the beginning of this blog post, 2020 was simply GHETTO! However, before this year end, I do think it is vital to sit back and examine it all and allow yourself to feel all the emotions. Acknowledge the horrible things that happened to you, your family, the world etc. But also take time to decompress and reflect on the good things were fortunate to overcome and live through
December 31st lets challenge ourselves to take at least 20 minutes to acknowledging the hardship of 2020, reflect on the things we are grateful for and move on with gratitude as 2021 begins.
Cheers to 2021. May it be better to us all and may we be better to one another.