I can’t count how many times I’ve heard, or read, something to the effect of, “I can’t wait for this year to be over,” as if the wave of a magic wand on January 1st, 2021 is instantly going to improve our situation.
Over this last year we have been faced with some extraordinary challenges. Not only has it been difficult to comprehend, but it has also been taxing to adjust to the demands placed upon us. At times I have felt quite disoriented. These challenges are real and are the conditions for mental, emotional, and spiritual discord. Nevertheless, please don’t wait for an imaginary future day when things will be restored to a state of normalcy to improve the quality of your life. Meow is the time.
What scares me the most about “I can’t wait for 2020 (or this day) to be over” is the simple fact that no-one is promised a tomorrow. As a former operating room nurse, I saw the light go out on many precious lives who earlier in the day probably never considered that day would be their last.
Each morning I call to mind the fleeting nature of my life, of each moment. This reflection is one of the most transformative Mindfulness practices that I engage in daily. We only get one chance with each moment that arises; we only have this life. This practice motivates me and generates an urgency to live life to the fullest and to do my very best to make choices that nourish my life and the lives of others – regardless of what is happening around me.
In thinking about the transient nature of each moment and our very own existence, it seems irresponsible to wish away time. Even if those times are difficult.
All we can do is do our best. Yes, absolutely, these times are trying. Without minimizing the challenges that we have faced throughout 2020, please don’t wait for 2021 to start living a fulfilling life. For many, this year has been like quicksand. May I suggest to stop struggling and rise above it. The moment we accept our situation, whatever it is, we have the capacity within us to adapt and show up in ways that are meaningful and rewarding.
Focusing on difficulties makes them worse – what we pay attention to grows and expands. Focusing on difficulties also generates feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. These feelings arise largely because these circumstances are out of our control. But what is firmly in our control is how we respond to trying times. Developing resiliency through a daily mindfulness practice helps us to adapt to challenging situations more quickly, which ultimately reduces suffering. Establishing a daily Mindfulness practice in no way isolates you from difficult and challenging situations. It does, however, give you the tools and skills which allow you to navigate demanding times with more peace, kindness, and grace.
If you’re not already, please consider joining me on this path.
You are loved by me, Unconditionally.
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