“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” ~ Michelle Obama
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” ~ Napoleon Hill
I usually keep my end of the year reflections to myself. But this has not been a normal year by any stretch of the imagination, whatever normal means. I don’t like sharing my reflections because I don’t like giving advice. My experience is not going to be your experience. However, these are some things that I’ve come to realize this year and maybe they’ll mean something to you.
I was in a rut, feeling very complacent at the beginning of 2020. It seemed that my life had been plugging along with not much change until we got home from our 2019 Christmas vacation with family. Even before Covid, we had drama happening when our 18 year old heat pump gave up the ghost at the height of winter. And in the process of getting a new one, we had to get rid of rattlesnakes and rats living under the house. We finally got the heat pump in early March. But, of course, just when we thought things were getting better, the virus hit.
I know this sounds strange given the fact that I used to be an actor and now teach theatre, but I avoid drama in my personal life as much as possible. Well, that wasn’t possible when the worldwide pandemic hit. At first, I hunkered down and enjoyed being home in the quiet. But as time went on and the crisis got worse and worse, I picked up on everyone’s fear. I struggled. How was I going to deal with everything that was going on in the world? What could I possibly do about it? Even though I meditated daily and wrote in my journal, my calm would be interrupted on an almost daily basis and I’d have to try to regain my equilibrium.
I was slowly digging my way to feeling more balance when a week or so ago, Amanda Ellis, a spiritual teacher I follow on YouTube, said something that made so much sense to me. When we’re in the midst of drama we have an opportunity to open our hearts so we can share more compassion, forgiveness, and love. It’s our choice. And I have to admit that my daily practice has been leading me in that direction.
My husband and I have said to ourselves and others that we are lucky. We’re grateful that we both still have our jobs, which we can do from home. We have people at our grocery store who gather our list of items and deliver them to our car. We have a roof over our heads and all our family are relatively healthy. Because of that, we’ve noticed the contrast between our lives and those around us. We feel the pain of those who’ve lost family members, or their jobs, and homes. This has made us more inclined to share what we have with organizations that help people who are in greater need than we are. Sending prayers is helpful, but sometimes people need money to help them move forward. If I can provide some money to help someone else, I’m willing to do that.
I know I’m only seeing the world from my limited perspective. But I do want to open my heart to sharing more love and compassion. I desire to be more sensitive to the needs of others and help where I can. There are so many people in need right now. Deciding who to help can be overwhelming, but I’ve decided that helping a few is better than doing nothing. There are, no doubt, other people who are doing the same, making contributions where they can. Each person who helps someone else causes a ripple effect for good.
This is something else I learned long ago that applies to our current world situation. To help someone out of suffering, we need to be with them but not take on the depths of their despair. That’s not helpful. We need to give them hope in any way we can, because going into suffering with them only amplifies their gloomy world view. I know it’s difficult sometimes to look on the bright side and believe that things will get better. However, dark times are often followed by times of great creativity and progress. It’s true for humanity as a whole, and on a more personal level. We all go through rough patches but we can dig our way out of them. I think we can come out of this terrible situation to a better future. At least that’s what I want to try to create.
I hope you are having a blessed end to this year. Thank you for your support. I appreciate it very much.
Blessings for a happier, healthier, and more prosperous new year.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2020
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.
Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.
Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a new podcast where she and her guests discuss the stories in all formats that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me.