December 30, 2020

An Open Letter to 2020: Here’s what I want you to Know.


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2020, I have a lot to say to you.

You are the dysfunctional relationship about to end without closure. Where we know in our hearts closure doesn’t always need lengthy conversation, explanation, or answers to questions left unsaid. But the absence sits in the body like the weight of a thousand bricks. The tidal wave of emotion you carried with you throughout your stay has been like witnessing a tsunami of fear, heaviness, loss, and confusion.

Nobody was seeking the dismal energy you carried or welcomed your disruptive entrance. I am personally seeing you to the door. But before you exit, I would like to quiet the dark storm you carried and replace it with shiny glimmers of hope.

Profound loss, unprecedented change, disillusionment, and a continual message of fear was your agenda. You might ask how or why I could share any message of joy, faith, or a willingness to have found hope among your testy ways.

It is simply to remind you that a million shining stars are visible in the darkest night.

You asked us to replace once open arms and doors to family and friends, with stillness in our homes and fear of our neighbors, but you did not replace the human will to connect. Some of us wrote stories from our hearts to ease pain in others and these were carried virtually across oceans, while others showed up in a parade of vehicles to celebrate another trip around the sun for the ones they love.

Collectively, despite our tired minds and anxious bodies, so many continually aided the sick, consoled the grieving, taught our children, delivered food, and creatively pulled together to bridge the gap in this new normalcy we were presented with.

You asked us to cover our faces while distancing ourselves. We were being asked to slowly become an expressionless, unconnected world. That is when the makers crafted masks with their hands, and communities supported their efforts. Handwritten notes and care packages were left at doors, and images flooded our tablets and phones with maskless faces smiling, despite the state of the world. Evidence of resilience and joy seeking, strengthening our faith in connection.

While only our eyes may be visible from our mask-covered faces, we continue to reach into our hearts to deliver smiles, despite your demands to take them away. 

The media heightened fear, perpetuating the ever-present exclusivity and divide, pushing harder to move us further away from love and duality.

May I remind you, in your selfish attempts, that love always wins.

Babies continued to be born, families connected inside their homes and added love to their spaces as they settled into the simplicity and comfort of enjoying home.

The present moment became a solace and preference for our hearts to return to. A reminder that our presence is composed of enjoying each moment as it unfolds. Rather than seeking clarity and answers in a place you so clearly demonstrated did not exist.

The miracle of nature—as She always does—eased our spirits, and quieted our troubled minds. We wandered, walked, and climbed her mountains. Planted seeds for flowers to bloom in the spring and swam in her oceans. Some of us reveled in the beauty of her autumn colors and were gently reminded, as the leaves left the trees, how much beauty there is in letting go.

The miraculous and beautiful cycle of the seasons still carried on despite your attempts at stealing our joy.

I am grateful that you are leaving, yet there is a small part of me that knows after this has settled, I will be grateful you came. Instead of a fist, I offer you a goodbye embrace that you tried so hard to take away. Standing in gratitude that I was still able to see the goodness, the light, and hold an incredible willingness to keep going despite uncertainty.

You were heavy, but you were honest.

As the clock moves past the hour that signals a new year, we still may be sifting and sorting through layers of rubble in this place of the unknown, from your heavy wreckage. But please know your honesty will now build worlds stronger than the fear you tried to bury us with. And your absence will somehow create hope in forward movement.

Always remember that new worlds are born and built from the damage that is done. There are treasures yet to be uncovered.

Every goodbye carries with it a lesson. And sometimes, the best light is that seen from a burning bridge.


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