“Sometimes it feels like there are so many things in this world that we can’t control. Earthquakes, floods, reality shows. But it’s important to remember the things that we can – like forgiveness, second chances, fresh starts. Because the one thing that changes the world from a lonely place to a beautiful place is love. Love, in any of its forms, love gives us hope.” (Josh Duhamel in the film New Year’s Eve (2011))
There were so many things in 2020 that reminded me how very little control I have in this world. From pandemics, to police brutality, to presidential election craziness, to massive losses of life, to not being able to see a number of friends and loved ones, to the many state and local restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, to one setback after another with my health, and well you name it, 2020 most assuredly was a year that made me feel more helpless than I’ve ever felt in my life.
While I’ve gone through many challenging things at varying times in my life, 2020 became the year where it truly felt like it was one difficult thing happening after another with no reprieve. I honestly pray that 2021 will feel far better, not just with my health of course, but with the rest of the world as well, as I often felt in 2020 that I was constantly walking on eggshells, afraid to talk about anything for the fear of setting someone down another negative and judgmental rant of how the world would just be better if only (“fill in the blank”). And through each and every one of those rants, I heard one conspiracy theory after another that only left me at the end of the year not really knowing what’s factual news versus fake news.
In the end though, the biggest thing I learned in 2020 in all my moments of silence, aloneness, emptiness, and observation is the very same thing I learned long ago but failed miserably at doing for the longest time because I was always more focused on pleasing myself than in helping others. What is it? That love is the only solution for all the madness we experienced in 2020.
Personally, I beat myself up more than I loved myself in 2020, which in turn had me acting more judgmental with others, rather than loving them unconditionally. I know I must love others better, including myself, no matter what my ego may think needs to change in me or the world for life to get better. Peace begins with loving more unconditionally.
So, maybe it’s time for all of us to stop thinking things like this presidential election was rigged and instead embrace the new president with love by giving him a chance? Maybe it’s time to stop judging how anyone is handling this pandemic and instead do our best to be there for those who need our help to navigate through it? Maybe it’s time to stop focusing our energy something “out there” needing to change for life to be better and instead work on changing our attitude to one of acceptance and love? Maybe in doing so, 2021 will become a year of healing versus harming, helping versus hurting, and loving versus hating.
Maybe true healing can begin in 2021 by all of us working a little harder on accepting each other just as we are and forgiving each other as well, even if there was harm, as continuing on the same path we were on in 2020 is only going to make 2021 feel even worse. If we want to see positive change come in 2020, then it’s time to finally start loving each other, including ourselves, far more than we have.
I pray to become filled with an abundance of peace and joy in 2021, so that I may have a never-ending source of love and light to extend to both myself and everyone else I meet.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson