How are you? It has been a very long time since I have been able to write anything, or put a thought on paper. This has truly been a year of change.
For me, it was also one of extreme health issues, and it was very scary. Until recently, I was not even sure if I was going to recover, and because of the unrelenting pain I was in, there were many days I felt continuing down the road of my body shutting down might be my only way out. Without going too far down the rabbit hole of diagnosis, or focusing on the details of finding a doctor with knowledge on more than just one specialty, turns out I had an abundance of very ‘bad’ bacteria in my intestines that caused me to have multiple autoimmune disease symptoms. It has taken almost 10 months for me to once again sit at my computer, feeling well enough to clearly look back.
With the Covid threat, social unrest, politics, and media coverage, I can’t imagine anyone who sailed through this year. Yet, here we are in November, and it feels to me like this year has been the one most life-changing ever. What I find most amazing, is that many people I have spoken to have also reflected that, although we lost our ‘normal,’ something about 2020 brought a greater awareness of what they are capable of and what they care most about in life.
For me, I don’t actually think I could possibly have had the inner transformation that I have had without all of the factors that came together, and challenges this year brought. For I was not only at my lowest point, but also brought to my knees in physical pain. And surprisingly, what I want most now is to remember. I want to remember every second of what my experience was like. I never expected this, but it is true. I do not want to jump ahead, set a goal, make up for lost time. Instead I want to remember what seemed like the darkest 10 months of my life.
Why? It is actually because I am grateful. Not because of the suffering or the fear. It is because of the awareness that the only way I was able to get through many of the moments and days was to become so still, and to focus entirely on being present. Sitting in a chair, light from the sun, a dog sleeping at my feet, a roof over my head, food, a bird, everything became alive and important to see. And somehow beyond the moment, I found that within me was this essence that was calm and would go on no matter what happened with my body or in the outside world. For the first time I recognized this ‘being’ that was with me when I was born, when I was 4, again when I was 12, had been through all the heartbreaks, the joys, had watched the crazy world go by, and yet was still here now and always would be. I felt gratitude for getting present and seeing this, and finally feeling I no longer wanting anything to change. That everything was already okay just the way it was.
And now with the holiday of gratitude quickly approaching and one that for most of us will be quite different, I am taking a moment to make sure to remember. Remember to be grateful for everything just the way IT IS. I almost feel like I have an inner glow from no longer fighting with life but rather appreciating it for all that it is and is not. In truth, I think this year might be bringing out the best in most of us. Changing us, softening our demands, making us more aware.
“Don’t cut the person to fit the coat.” My new favorite quote.