Posted by: silverliningsblog | December 30, 2020

2020: A year to remember

One thing is for sure…2020 will go down in modern history as a year to remember!

If nothing else, we’ve expanded on our vocabulary this year:

  • COVID-19
  • coronavirus
  • pandemic
  • flatten the curve
  • quarantine
  • lockdown
  • shelter in place
  • self-isolate
  • social distancing
  • bubble
  • PPE (personal protective equipment)

I mean, who would have thought, at the beginning of 2020, we’d experience a global pandemic that in one year would infect nearly 80 million people, killing over 1.7 million? Or that in an attempt to control the spread, we would repeatedly shut down a huge chunk of the world’s economy, forcing entire countries to stay home and grounding planes worldwide?

Who could have foreseen how much hand sanitizer we’d use, how much time we’d spend watching Netflix, or how trendy masks would become?

It’s been an odd and difficult year. That much I think we can all agree on. And the truth is, the pandemic is not over yet. So what’s a person to do to remain positive and hopeful heading into 2021?

The law of opposites

When we go through challenges, it’s important to remember the law of opposites…that we experience the opposite of what we want so that we can increase our desire for (and appreciation of) what we do want.

We experience darkness so that we may know the beauty of light (Christmas lights are not nearly so magical during the day). We feel loneliness so that we can appreciate love and togetherness. We experience being single so we can appreciate being in a relationship.

Going through a pandemic brings what’s important in life into sudden and sharp focus.

Are we missing things…stuff money can buy? Nope. What we’re missing is people. And experiences.

We’re missing hugging our friends and loved ones. We’re missing seeing our kids, grandkids, parents, siblings, relatives in person. We’re missing family dinners, holiday get-togethers, graduations and birthday parties. We’re missing live music, concerts, theatre, going to restaurants, going to the gym, travel.

And hugs…I am definitely missing hugs.

So what is the pandemic showing us? It shows us what matters, what we most value …and what hopefully none of us will ever take for granted again (including our health).

Choosing our point of focus

We can’t control everything that happens in our lives… certainly none of us is in control of this pandemic. So obsessing about numbers, how the government is handling the situation or what others are doing will only make us feel miserable…and it’s not where our power is anyway.

Where our power lies is in our ability to control our focus…which is what directs our emotions and behaviours.

How we feel is directly co-related to what we’re focusing on. If we focus our attention on what’s difficult, what we can’t do and what we fear, we feel badly. If we focus on what is going well, what we can do and what we want to create, we feel better.

If focusing on the positive has been difficult for you, you’re not alone. But here’s what I know for sure…looking at things we don’t like and things we have no control over is a surefire way of making ourselves miserable.

Instead, the shortest path to feeling better is to get into a state of gratitude and appreciation.

So to help you shift your focus, let’s look at 10 positive things that have come from this pandemic:

  • Slower pace – One of the upsides of repeated lockdowns is a slower pace of life this year…fewer activities allows us to be introspective, look at what’s not working in our lives, make changes, and learn how to simply be.
  • Home improvements – Because we’ve been in our homes more, many have taken the opportunity to do home improvement projects, everything from decluttering to repainting or building a deck.
  • Family time – Because our social bubbles have lately been restricted to immediate family, it’s creating a whole new appreciation of our bonds with those we hold dear.
  • Technology – Can you imagine if this had happened 10-20 years ago? The great thing about recent advances in technology (smart phones, video chat apps) is that it allows us to stay connected even while we’re isolated in our homes.
  • Working from home – Lockdowns have allowed many people to work from home, avoiding a lengthy commute and parking fees. Many workplaces are planning on continuing work-from-home arrangements at least part-time once the pandemic is over.
  • Renewed focus on health – We’ve come to appreciate our health and mental wellbeing in a whole new way this year…and we’re becoming more conscious of others’ health and wellbeing as well.
  • A breather for the environment – Fewer cars on the road and planes in the air means less pollution and a much-needed break for our furry friends and the environment.
  • Elevated consciousness – One thing a pandemic does is make us realize that no one is immune to falling ill, losing their job, or losing loved ones. It also makes us realize that our individual actions can impact people literally around the globe, and hopefully makes us more conscious of the actions we’re taking.
  • Appreciation of service providers – We’re more appreciative than ever of health care workers and teachers, as well as service providers who are often over-looked but now on the front lines (like store staff and restaurant workers).
  • Community service – Because many are struggling during these challenging times, there seems to be a greater sense of community, with more people offering to help others.

I’m sure you can think of others…please leave your ideas in the comment section below! 🙂

Using our creative power

We all have the ability to harness our energy and brain’s creative power for good…but only if we do so consciously.

When we’re operating on default and reacting to events outside us, we worry. And worry about the future is really wasted energy…it doesn’t change the outcome and makes you miserable in the meantime. It’s like praying for what you don’t want to have happen.

A better use of your brain’s creative power is to envision what you do want to have happen. Ask yourself: if 2021 was your best year ever (or at least, a much better year than 2020), what would you want to experience?

Instead of fearing the worst, use your time and energy to set goals for next year, and to visualize the outcome you want so that you feel motivated to take action and create change.

Things don’t just get better by themselves. They get better because we choose different thoughts, which create different emotions and lead us to take different actions.

So choose your thoughts carefully…focus on what you want to create next year. Get excited about the possibilities. And then take the next step towards your goal. One step at a time, you’ll change the life that’s in front of you, and create the reality you desire. Best wishes for a healthy and joyful 2021!

Share your ideas

What are some positive things that happened in 2020? What are your top goals for 2021? Please share!

Resources

For more ideas on how to make next year great, see:

If you’d like to join a global community of single women who want to heal, feel empowered and support each other, I invite you to join my free Facebook group:

About the author

Karen Strang Allen is a love and empowerment coach for single women. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great about who they are and create a life they love so they attract their dream partner.

Check out Karen’s free inspirational resources and workshops at www.karenstrangallen.com.


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