What has this last year made of you?

So, it is now a little over a year since the world we knew, the world we thought we could depend on, suddenly disappeared. The global situation has changed just about every facet of life, and at this stage, there are those who are suggesting that we won’t get back to normal until late 2022.

How has this touched your life? For some, sadly, there have been losses of loved ones. For others, it’s been their job or business that either went under or was severely compromised. Some in our area were hospitalized, and many others simply hunkered down, following the guidelines and wishing it would all be over as soon as possible. Truth be told, everybody’s experience has been unique. While phrases like “We’re all in this together” might blast from the media, in a sense we are all in this alone, because no two people view or experience this thing in exactly the same way.

And so, I pose this question. What has the last year made of you?

Think about that, will you?

I am not asking how your circumstances have changed, I am asking how YOU have changed.

In every situation, you face a choice. It was summed up by the great writer and neurologist Victor Frankl when he said, “The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” For those of you who do not know, he was a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps.

The world has gone through the initial shock and denial of what is happening. Now it is continuing to live with the mass dissemination of fear from the media, and the continued disruption of normal living as solutions are thought of, implemented, and not always proven useful. We cannot change the circumstances, and yes it does feel like we’re adrift on a large ocean in a tiny boat in a storm! BUT, you and I can still do what Frankl suggests, we still have the freedom to choose our attitude.

So how are you choosing?

There are only two broad choices. We can have an attitude that makes us a bitter person, OR we can have an attitude that makes us a better person. Unlike the outer circumstances, these are INNER choices.

Are you bitter, or are you better? Or are you perhaps somewhere between the two trying to figure out where to land?

Only you can answer that question, and only you can make the choice. That’s right… it is a choice.

You can start off by being honest with yourself. Bitter or Better? Don’t lie to the person in the mirror. Then you can come to the realization that you get to choose how it is from here onward. Whether it all falls apart, or all comes together in the outside world, you are the one who decides how to handle it. You can react to it all, or you can respond. Knowing that you have such a choice is the beginning of positive change.

And then make a decision. You can decide to stay bitter. That’s your right. Maybe you need to heal, and sadness, mourning, anger, even bitterness are all parts of the healing. However, you don’t have to stay in that negative energy forever.

It’s not easy though. Dark outside circumstances do not make it easy to shine. And shining inwardly does not always change the outer darkness either.

But a better inner choice will help to create a better inward feeling, a day at a time. And in the end, how you feel in this global situation is what really counts.

So I encourage you (as I encourage myself, for God knows I’m not immune to this either), please make a decision. Decide that no matter how dark it is, or remains, that you are going to begin to choose love over fear, hope over hopelessness, and response instead of reaction. Do not let the circumstances make something of you without your input. You make something of yourself.

  • Maybe you need to take a fearless moral inventory, just as they do in the 12-step programs. Make a list of your best qualities and focus on them, nurture them, develop them even in inner silence, and grow them.
  • Maybe you need to shut off the damned news with its message of constant doom and gloom.
  • Maybe you need to get back in touch with your faith, your holy books, your God.
  • Maybe you need to play with the dog.
  • Maybe you need to focus on your family.
  • Maybe you need to read an inspiring book, listen to a good sermon, or watch an encouraging video.
  • Maybe you need to take a long bubble bath with only a candle in the room, as gentle music plays softly.
  • Maybe you need to breathe deeply, meditating in stillness on the gift of life.
  • Maybe you need to shut off the critical voices of the past, ignore the fearful images of the future, and get back into the only moment you ever have… the now.
  • Maybe you need to make more phone calls and tell people you love them.
  • Maybe you need to do a live video call with friends and smile openly.
  • Maybe you need to simply decide to do whatever makes you feel good.
  • Maybe you need to make a list of what you WANT to become as this crisis continues to unfold.
  • Maybe it is time to learn what life is really about, a glorious experience to be treasured.
  • Maybe it is time to grow your soul and evolve your consciousness.

Indeed, I ask you, what is this time making of you? Or better, what are YOU now going to make of yourself during this time?

If I ask this question again a year from now, I hope each of us can say “I am better than I was a year ago, because I made something even more beautiful of myself.”

– Love & Light

Kenneth