Like many people, I’ve lived through economic recessions, the Civil Rights Movement (I was a child), the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and MLK Jr., political unrest, the Vietnam War, and 9-11 just to name a few events. But nothing prepared me for the year of COVID, violent weather, and violent humans, as well as a demigod president bent on destroying his own nation. It felt like the history of the world summed up in a single year.
And there are two ways of viewing 2020. The first is to cast everyone in the role of a victim or worse, a martyr. The second is to look at the lessons learned and to reflect at a silent evolution taking place. Although it might not seem like it, the world is still a magical place full of possibilities. That is only if we clean up the destruction humanity has left in its way and we remember to open our hearts to kindness instead of making grabs for power.
As a healer and spiritual teacher, I believe that the outer world can only reflect our inner realms. If we have unfinished business that we ignore or beliefs in our subconscious minds that don’t serve us, then the outer world reflects chaos back to us. The events happening in 2020 and rolling into 2021 are not acts of God. They are acts of humans who refuse to wake up their consciousness and take responsibility for the energy they release on the planet. And even beyond that, many lifestyle choices and even personal choices that we make every day and take for granted affect the greater whole. The ripple effect is real. We are observing it.
So, what is our call to action? What can we do to make a difference and even turn the tides? It starts with kindness for ourselves and others. It starts with forgiving the past and forgoing bitterness and resentment. It starts with ending co-dependent and enabling behavior and taking responsibility for our actions and our judgment of others. It starts with healing divisiveness and saying no to destructive behavior towards others, the animals, and the planet. We must define who we are and who we are not.
I won’t believe that after millions of years of evolution that this is the furthest our species will evolve. And I have witnessed many times that the darkest hour truly is before dawn. Like others, I have lived through the Dark Night of the Soul and more than one time. I know what it’s like to lose virtually everything, including my perfect rental record and even my love of humanity (which is wavering right now). I relate to all those folks on the losing end of this economy and the global health situation. However, complaining and lamenting won’t solve any problems–I know that first hand.
We are still essentially the same souls even if as people life circumstances have transformed us. I entered 2020 as an astrologer and aspiring author. I had plans as we all had plans. My plans did not include getting stuck at my elderly parents’ home during a lockdown that spanned several months. But I used that time to learn new skills and get my proverbial ducks in order to start a business. Only, the housing crisis has curtailed my plans. At least I had time to reflect about what I don’t want and what I do want. I know myself more deeply than ever before but like you, I’m grieving the losses I experienced during the past 12 months (including receiving my mail in a timely manner, travel and seeing my sister).
We experienced the great losses of a million lives to a pandemic, natural disasters, and violence. And we have experienced the loss of jobs, homes, educational opportunities, meeting new people in person, and seeing people’s faces without masks. On one hand, I have witnessed compassionate people. I have seen people dig deep into their hearts and give until it hurts. I have witnessed people choosing to keep their hearts open despite the suffering.
During his time, Martin Luther King, Jr. said that it wouldn’t be easy climbing to that mountaintop and there would be great challenges along the way. But he had faith that humanity would reach the Promise Land. And again, I remind you, the reader, that the darkest hour comes just when the sun is below the horizon and kicking up momentum to rise to its zenith. We too can rise to the occasion and it will take courage. Do you have the courage to live another day and open your heart to the gift of kindness?