The year 2020 has not been quite the year that many of us anticipated. As the weeks creep by and I see more frustration, anxiety and despair, it truly breaks my heart. It is so easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts spiral. Watching the news, checking your bank account, trying to stay healthy and attempting to adjust to the "new normal" puts us in the perfect position to fall into the nasty trap of negativity.
I have recently chatted with multiple friends who are going through a particularly difficult time, and I feel compelled to share my own feelings and thoughts. Importantly, I want to really stress that we are NOT in control of everything. Shit happens that we will never be able to change or fix. And sometimes life can throw some really tough curve balls at us. But, we can't change what we can't change! The only things we are 100% in control of are our actions and our reactions. Don't be fooled either, there is serious power there.
I believe that, while we are not here for a long time, we are here for an amazing experience. We are here to feel joy, excitement, peace and love. I don't know the purpose behind our existence. I don't know why bad things happen. I can't explain disease, war or poverty in a way that can be understood by everyone. I cannot explain why sometimes when a bad thing happens to someone it ends up to be a good thing for someone else. Who can explain these things in a way that people from all backgrounds, religious beliefs and opinions can understand? It is impossible. From the beginning of time holy men, philosophers, doctors and scientists have tried to understand why we exist. So many theories have been discussed. Yet, we still have no concrete answers.
Even though I have no great secret to share, I have learned some significant things through the years. I have learned that we get to pick and choose how we react. We choose whether or not to dwell in despair. We choose to see the good in people. We choose faith over fear. We choose to stay in bed and cry or to pick ourselves up and keep going. we choose to fight for our marriages. We choose to start a new career. I believe we have to choose to see things in a better way, we have to choose to find individual happiness, even in the worst circumstances.
I believe that there’s infinite possibilities and opportunities and that miracles are everywhere when you look for them. From flowers blooming in the spring to the sun rising and setting every single day. People helping people and babies being born. Surviving the darkest of circumstances and accomplishing the impossible. Miracles are happening all around us all the time. You just have to look.
I think it is normal to feel scared and sad, angry and anxious, and I have felt all of that. The current situation we are facing as humans is scary, so it is natural to feel uneasy, confused and alarmed. But I believe that staying in those feelings will just bring on more bad stuff. What we think about we bring about, so focusing one the bad stuff will just bring more. And I get it, easier said than done. But it takes practice to change your way of thinking. It took me years of practice to turn my mindset around and I still practice every day!
I know that celebrations are cancelled, bank accounts are empty, jobs are lost and and the media is pushing fear. Things seem really bleak when you focus on all of that. But what happens if we focus on other things? Family time, leisure time, people who are helping, nature, organizing, projects we have been putting off, rest that we have been asking for. There are other things to look at other than the bad.
I really do believe that there’s a silver lining. I have faith that everything will be OK, that we will get through this and anything else that comes along. Humans are resilient. We adapt to our environments. We are incredible beings with superior abilities. Tap into your hidden talents and known strengths. Focus on the good things. Change your perspective a bit. Choose better thoughts. Hold on to hope.
note: this is not a post directed to those suffering with mental illness. I understand there is a difference between not having a choice, and having one.