Lessons and Blessings
So, its been one heck of a ride so far! 2020 will never be forgotten for many reasons:
- COVID-19 pandemic
- The Big Mask Debate
- Loss of loved ones
- Social and racial injustices
- Passing of icons
- Politics/Presidential election
- Virtual School
- Loss of employment and Loss of housing
The list could go on. To say it has been stressful is an understatement. Its been terrifying for many. Many find themselves constantly worrying and in fear of contracting COVID-19. In fear of a love one contracting it.
I am apart of a large family. I live near two of my siblings and their family. I was use to seeing family at the very least, every weekend. We would congregate at someones home and basically have an impromptu party. If we were not at someones home, we were driving all over creation for AAU basketball. All of that came to a sudden halt.
Initially, it was somewhat of a welcomed break. We didn't know much about COVID 19 and thought or hoped, it would be over in a few months. Right before COVID-19, I felt like I was in a rat race. I felt like we were always "going, going, going!" COVID 19 slowed things down tremendously. I felt less distracted. I felt more present! I began to notice areas I needed to improve upon. I had to face some difficult realities. One reality was that I was not as attentive to my children's needs, my husbands needs, nor my own needs.
The number of people dying from COVID-19 continued to soar, Things appeared to be getting worse, not better. I recall having internal conversations, "Is this really happening?" "I feel like I'm in a movie?" "I wish this was a bad dream?" COVID-19 amplified the health, racial, and financial disparities that have been present for generations. This sparked genuine discussions of possible REAL change, simultaneously, fueling animosity in others.
Despite the pain and anxiety that has been present this year, it has also been a year of change, accountability, enlightenment, and reconciliation. I have become even more grateful. I have learned so much. This year has given me the opportunity to slow down and focus on whats important. Even in the physical isolation, I've had the opportunity to mend and strengthen relationships. I've had the opportunity to grow closer to my children and be emotionally more present and attentive. I am reminded of how precious life is and how interconnected we are as a society.
Many of you can relate to my experience. There are times I can feel my anxiety level rising and I began feeling overwhelmed. So, I want to share with you something I remind my patients of and something I remind myself of: "There are LESSONS and BLESSINGS in this test!" Therefore, identify what these experiences have taught you and identify the blessings that have occurred as well. This is essentially the practice of gratitude!
The practice of gratitude has be studied and shown to help fight against negative emotions. It can actually influence our brain activity and have a positive lasting effect. According to the Harvard Healthbeat, "In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships." So, when your overwhelmed with 2020 and don't know what to do: 1. Practice gratitude. 2. Regularly, seek out the lessons and blessings in this test!