“Being challenged in life is inevitable; being defeated is optional.” ~ Roger Crawford

It’s been a heck of year.

I’ve been thinking back on the naïve optimism of twelve months ago. I, along with many others, was ready to see Christmas and the New Year in with a smile on my face, a song in my heart, and a fierce determination to ensure I started this new decade as I intended live it—happy and hopeful for the joys to come. How could any of us possibly have foretold the horrors that would unfold across the world? A global pandemic, lockdowns, furlough, mass unemployment, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, explosions, economic crises, civil unrest…

As many of you know, I live with anxiety and depression. My mental health journey is something I try to be as open as possible about, although I have been finding that more difficult of late. I speak decidedly less about my spiritual path with only a few of my closest friends, but my identity as an Empath—a person who can feel other people’s emotions and energies as if they were their own—has made navigating this year’s hardships nigh on unbearable. The world is heavy with a grief far greater than any suffering I’ve ever experienced alone, and when coupled with my own past traumas, the weight of this year’s pain has left me unable to draw breath, gasping for air.

And yet, through the many adversities, I find that 2020 has also brought me too many precious intricacies to count. I’ve fallen in love with my wife all over again after being locked up in a house together for three months through furlough. I’ve reunited with friends and family. My first book has been published and the outpouring of love and support it has received is incredible. My best friend is pregnant with her second child. For every inescapable low this year has presented me with, the highs have been equally as exhilarating. I am so grateful for everything that I have in my life.

But now, I’m exhausted. Physically, mentally, emotionally.

My plan for the final week of this bizarre trip around the sun is to simply rest. Above all else, 2020 has taught me how to fully appreciate the quiet moments with my loved ones and I know now that they are more precious to me than any gift. Sitting at home with a dog on my lap, a book in my hand, and my wife at my side leaves me with a sense of wholeness and happiness unlike anything else. So my phone will be away, my laptop will be shut down, and I will just… breathe.

2020 also taught me not to make resolutions because they are too easily destroyed, either by our own hand or others. Instead, in 2021, I simply wish for peace. Peace in my heart and mind, and peace in yours, whatever shape that takes.

Merry Christmas, and a Blessed Yule to you all.

Loz x

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