I want to exercise. Close your eyes and think back to 2019. If you can; if not, just try to imagine January when life was less… chaotic. What are some things that have brought you joy? Feel really good. Still smiling right now? I bet Charmin’s private paper didn’t show up.
Now that we are in 2019, what was your concern? Think of your horrible fears – perhaps “what if” that sounded like something impossible to make your kids laugh. Weren’t they doors to kill, weren’t they?
2020 has widened the line between the real and the smallest speculation as if our planet is somehow lowering Alice’s rabbit hole. And before you try to change my mind, let me know that the start of Zoom with your parents didn’t sound like reminiscent of a Mad Hatter tea party. (“You’re dumb, ma! We can’t hear you, you’re MUTE!”)
Our lives seem very different from eight months ago, in unexpected ways, which has caused many to rethink their previous beliefs – and myself. Because if you do not keep your eyes on the unstable, each pendulum swing will inevitably darken your entire world. Leaving my kitchen table and turning to the office, I asked myself some big questions.
What in my life is a luxury compared to what is most important?
Who in my life can add to my energy?
What do I want my life to look like after this change, and what prevents me from getting there?
I spent a lot of time crying about this last one. What prevents me from getting there? Aside from the speed bumps, the panic continued to fill with more tests. Fear of the amount of work to be taken “there” will take, fear of getting that job but not succeeding, fear of wasting my time…
This can be controversial and contradictory to many self-help books, but having this fear is not necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary. Living without fear is deceptive to anyone who lives by love. Just as the gentle nudges of intuition often lead to your path of excellent resistance, I find fear of a teacher equally important. That is, if you are willing to ask about the curiosity of a troubled little child, but why?
Once refined to the end, each fear becomes a magnifying glass that gives a glimpse of what we really care about – that, in a time when we “love” what seems to be everything, it’s important to separate. You can do something with that information. The key is learning to take notes on the fears you offer, not the advice you give.
For example, if you find yourself looking for a job, tripping over your career to your dream employer and thinking the difference, “I shouldn’t apply, I shouldn’t,” ask why you want to be perfect and use that knowledge to undermine your self-confidence; but never follow the advice of that fear. (Apply to your dream job!) Because why? Think about how many of your worries of 2019 are no longer working overnight. Last year I would tell you that I am afraid of cycling, and this month I volunteered to ride my bike in my area because now that fear sounds very small. As it turns out, some fears are healthy on the shelf.
If 2020 taught me anything, dreams are great. Because even my greatest fear is not close to comparing * this * (general gestures). Admittedly it sounds a bit dull, but I don’t think I’m alone in the mood. The big difference of 2020 to previous years brings me the challenges of environmental education in high school. Newton’s famous theory of motion states that for every action there is an equal reaction, and I have to believe that this works beyond the invisible forces of science. If all that 2020 is made possible, the opposite of equality can also be the case. It all depends on your response.
Push back! With all the fear trying to force your hand. After all, he is the gatekeeper.
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