(disclaimer, this is a personal reflection of how I have experienced the past months, in no means a critical view on others’ experiences and actions. You be you!)
Most of us had high hopes for the new decennia, starting with 2020. A simple change of digits carrying the expectations of the world. It’s been about 10 months now, since the outbreak of the pandemic in Europe: the world has been shaken awake and turned upside down wildly.
COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. The network of interactions that made this world feel so close has ended up being the ignition of our doom. Sometimes it still feels unreal, in the flinch of an eye, we woke up in a real-life Black Mirror episode or living the words of a dystopian novel.
In a way though, it was to be expected, we have been asking for it. We have been mistreating Mother Earth for a while now, we’ve been walking around with a superior attitude, overpopulating the planet and overexploiting the resources she so kindly provides. Even though the world has been shouting for a while, excruciating screams of agony, we turned the other way, ignoring a simple cry for help. (I could go deeper talking about this topic but it’s not the focus of today’s story, in case you are interested let us know).
So here we are, midst a second wave of the virus washing over Europe. What now? We can fight against it or ignore it as we are often conditioned to do as humans (not always a bad thing). Or in this case, we can lean into it, learn from acceptance of the present situation, and make the most out of it. We are masters of adaptation in the core of our animalistic nature, yet we get lost in the habit of comfort. Now, we have been forced to adapt to something new and unknown.
As much as we can look at the pandemic and its consequences with a negative eye, we can also work on a change of perspective. The spread of COVID-19 has deprived us from freedom of movement, caused job losses, limited social contacts, made us worry about the risks carried in visiting loved ones (especially when considering high-risk groups) and the list goes on. But what about the positive aspects?
In the past months we have been stripped from many of our usual distractions (partying, traveling,…), with many still remaining (Netflix, social media,…), hereby losing parts of our means to escape reality (in a meaningful way). Conditioned now to reflect upon our daily, giving us the opportunity to look inward and reconsider one’s ways of living. Am I happy with the life I am leading? Yes/No, How can I change or adapt? Am I doing something I love? What are my goals and dreams? How can I work towards them?
We have been given the chance to reconsider the life we are leading, a golden opportunity. When do we ever get the possibility in our usually overbooked agendas and go-go-go lifestyle to break out of it and reboot our system? The flow of our rivers, normally running at high speed, has softened to give us space for change. We are living in a privileged position in which this space for opportunity is a possibility, a luxury of choice.
I am not saying it has been easy or is going to be easy, not at all: it’s been all but that, it’s challenging, a little scary, and very stressful. We have all most likely lost something throughout this pandemic, some more than others, but I am sure we’ve also gained something or learned something along the way.
Why am I sharing this, writing this? I wanted, for a moment, to sit still and reflect upon the little positives in life. There already is way too much shit and negativity affecting us daily. It could be that you have not experienced this at all throughout this period, or maybe you can resonate with what I have shared here above. Regardless, take a little moment here and look back at the past 10 months and reflect. Have you learned/gained anything however big or small? and how has it had an impact on your way of life?
However difficult it might have been, within our privileged position, there are many things, big or small, to be grateful for and thankful about. The pandemic has been/is another very big and influential life lesson, see it as such, it’s one more experience to grow from.
We have decided to create a little document for you to print out and use as a live reflection session with yourself. Download it, print it and take some time to fill it in, make a fun activity out of it! Share it with these around you whom you think would love to take part in this reflection.
Ps. We would love to see what made your year special and positive! Share a picture of your creation on Instagram or on your stories and tag us!
Author’s note: the pictures you find in this article are some captures of my moments of bliss during this past year.