The Good, The Bad, The “What In The Entire What”: 2020 In Review

Going into 2020 I’m sure you were excited about new beginnings and new opportunities in both your personal and professional lives. I’m sure you, like many people, never imagined 2020 would come offering all of the twist, turns and burdens that it presented to each one of us. From Coronavirus, to ongoing racial tension, to the confrontational political climate and the release of the COVID-19 vaccine 2020 proved to be a lot of “what the entire what” is going on here. The year 2020 did not let up! I remember having conversations with family, friends and colleagues about each event as it unfolded on the local and national news. I remember being faced with some affirming views and other perspectives that were just downright difficult to digest. I’m sure you found yourself in similar spaces-feeling heard in one conversation and misunderstood in another.

Mental health professionals all over the world were being called on to advise citizens on how to protect their mental and emotional space. Being both a mental health professional and someone who felt the overwhelming despair of  2020 right alongside each of you let me just say, 2020 was HARD! Like, legit difficult. However, I believe there is power in honoring the difficulty that was experienced throughout last year. I believe there is power in honoring the frustration that 2020 brought to each life, family member, home and community. 

Only through the lens of difficulty and frustration are we able to recognize our true resiliency. Merriam-Webster defines resiliency as the ability of something to return to its original size after being compressed; and/or, an ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change. 

You did just that. 

You panicked (as we all did, lol). You were fearful. Uncertain. Disconnected. Unemployed. Lonely. Sad. Isolated. We felt unsettled. Scared. Concerned. Overwhelmed. Angry. Outraged. Disregarded. Minimized. Unloved. Unseen. Unheard. 

What good can come of that? How can there be positives in the midst of that negative energy? Who would dare say, “Let us celebrate how far we have come?” You’ve got that right!

Me. I say, “Let us celebrate how far you’ve come!”

While, 2020 was something, it challenged extroverts to pause, rest and reflect. On the other hand, it challenged introverts to reach out to family, friends and utilize platforms they would otherwise shy away from. It forced employees who depend on the safety net of clocking in and out , to seriously consider their lifelong dream of entrepreneurship. It pushed people into their destiny of entrepreneurship which could quite possibly build generational wealth. It tested boundaries. It forced you to practice boundary setting. It helped you to find your voice when engaging in healthy boundary setting. It exposed you to the knee-jerk emotion of guilt surrounding boundary setting so that you can become comfortable with using your voice. It introduced you to new coping strategies. 2020 helped you to adopt new hobbies and self-care practices. It humbled you. It made you realize the precious gift of life. It reminded you to laugh more. It compelled you to reach out to a loved one. It made you realize you love someone. It aided you in forgiveness. It cleared the room for you to have open-honest conversation with a spouse. It insisted you hear and/or have conversation with people who don’t look like you. It exposed hate. It offered understanding. It ushered in compassion. It introduced patience.

Sometimes, we can’t control how change comes. We can only recognize when the game has changed. The year 2020 was a game-changer, for each one of us. This journey can be utterly painful, as it slowly reveals its beauty! No one knows what will happen this year. We can’t predict the future. However, one thing I am certain of is growth has happened. You have been forever changed.  You have been introduced to a new level of resiliency. Your POWER!

I can’t wait to see how the lessons of 2020 will bless your 2021. 

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