I have been given a lot of gifts over this past week, many of them being some very real and raw conversations about how individuals are doing after continuing to weather the storm that the past 15 months has been. The growth alongside the grief that this year has brought with it has been immense, and something I think we all could give ourselves a little more credit for. One of the themes I am hearing in my office lately is this underlying pressure that when the world moves into a new normal that we have to go back to being and feeling like we used to. How much unnecessary suffering is happening as a result of this expectation? The past 15 months have been traumatic, for some more than others. In what other situation would we expect to come out of trauma unchanged?
As parts of the world are slowly reopening, give yourself the gift of reflection and ask yourself how this year has changed you. Try your best to do it without judgment. Have you become more introverted? Does your mind, body, and heart all require a bit more quiet time in order for you to feel well? Have you realized which people in your life genuinely fill your cup, and which ones just fill your schedule? Have you noticed new boundaries that after this year feel more important? Or alternatively, certain ones you want to let go of? Are there roles you used to fill in your life that you’ve discovered no longer serve you the way they used to? Are there new ones you want to step into? Maybe there are habits that you have created that you want to carry with you, or priorities that you never knew you had until this year. Whatever it is, honor it. Don’t judge it, and don’t let anyone else’s opinion or judgment matter more than your own. This year has changed every one of us, some in small ways, and others in profound ways. Allow room for that. There is no right or wrong in your truth, so give yourself the gift of listening to who you now are and who you are becoming.