In 2020: If you’ve lost a job, a home, a business, a relationship, or in any worst case scenario, gotten ill, or seen a loved one through illness, or worse, then you might have taken stock of life itself. Most of us have gleaned ‘lessons’ from the unexpected, and at times, extremely hurtful losses these last six months to individuals and communities far and wide in these unprecedented times.
No one of us is ‘the same’ and there is ‘no business as usual,’ anymore. Not really. Coronavirus aside, 2020 did a fine job delivering a steady stream of calamities; the jokes to cope flowed as we all hunkered down. The rather severe tropical storm Isaias added a final sucker punch… proving that any control we think we have over our planet is, while not delusional, a continuous work in progress, shall we say.
The good news: The buzz, sometimes everywhere, it seems, is of a new level of self-awareness and personal growth, and other spiritual (frequently coupled with fitness) pursuits that may have been continuously shelved, pre-Corona. Low priorities have become high ones. Those with a basic survival instinct (i.e. most of us) have had no choice but to step up by looking inside ourselves too, to cultivate what brings inner happiness, and what gnaws at it, and to take actions long shelved to maximize the former, and minimize the other.
Constructive actions can be diverse, far ranging–what works for you, might seem absurd for another… your personal happiness may be vested in saving a marriage, another will find salvation saying goodbye to an unhealthy attachment. Maybe your path is something ‘small,’ like signing up for a course at Chappaqua Continuing Education (a pleasant surprise to receive their booklet in my mailbox), or something ‘big,’ like investing time in volunteering or helping a social justice movement like Black Lives Matter which has tugged at heart strings this summer. Or ‘something big’ can be finally booking a trip on your bucket list. Consider if you have backburned general health needs long enough, like that, ahem, mammogram or forever delayed colonoscopy (guilty as charged).
Our beautiful communities are no exception to inner life dynamics. There has been pain here too, often well-hidden pain. The path forward has to include shoring up your inner strength to break free. I’ve watched many grow incredibly strong during this pandemic, and I believe I’ve grown stronger myself.
So, whatever you have ‘been through’ these past six months, I salute the strength that has seen you through, and that will continue to see you through whether you are navigating back to school or college challenges, creating safe work and school environments or whether you are courageously confronting a difficult job market or in the business of saving your business.
Eternal and continued gratitude to our role models of inner strength–those on the frontlines of health care delivery at our local hospitals and our first responders, where #CommunityStrong is continuous 3-D viewing. Stay well, stay safe.