The View From Within
New beginnings always feel exhilarating especially after a challenging time. As we leave 2020 in the rear- view mirror, our hopes are high for an end to the pandemic and a return to “normalcy” in 2021.
While I never lived through a pandemic before, I have had challenging times in my life. And here is what I’ve learned: It is only by experiencing the difficult times that we can move through them to get to our own “nuggets of wisdom” to guide us during future life challenges.
Looking back on 2020, here are a few of my key take-aways.
First, I found the pandemic gave me an opportunity to give and share my unique gifts with others. I try to be inspiring and motivating to those around me but this pandemic caused me to dig deeper into those gifts than ever before. In addition, I also found that the pandemic provided me the “playground” to grow with more knowledge about myself and the world around me.
Moving in and out of phases of “lockdowns” brought on feelings of isolation and loneliness especially since I have an extroverted personality. Through my job I was able to connect to many volunteers on a monthly basis and allow them to share their thoughts and feelings. All of that would not be possible without the opportunity to learn Zoom, the technology allowing for virtual meetings. While learning a new technology can be frustrating, I was able to push through it because it allowed me to accomplish what I needed most: a form of connection with other human beings!
The pandemic also caused many of us to feel restricted and controlled. We could not travel, go to a restaurant, or movie theaters. But this was an opportunity for us to look away from the appearance of lack and to practice taking on the “high view”. When we hike or drive to the top of a mountain and look out below us, our view goes from looking at a smaller picture to a sweeping panoramic of which that “smaller picture” is a mere spec in the overall photo. We now move away from the littleness and constriction and the thought that something is missing, to the big picture of how it all fits together. That is exactly how 2020 will look to us in five to ten years down the road.
Perhaps the greatest “nugget of wisdom” is learning the ability to give thanks “IN” the challenge. We don’t need to feel gratitude for something (certainly not the pandemic!) but realize it can just be a feeling from your heart. A grateful mind is a great mind that eventually attracts great things. So let’s start the view of life from within and realize that our problems are opportunities to shape us to grow. The “good life” refers more to values than valuables.