Further In

Let’s face it, most people have found 2020 to be pretty darned stressful in a whole lot of different ways.  As thing, has piled on top of thing, has piled on top of thing, the pressure has mounted for just about everyone.  There is SO MUCH change happening right now, and it seems to be happening all at once. I mean, seriously, can we just have ONE normal week? Just ONE? (The answer to that is probably no, by the way.)

And now, in addition to everything else, we’re coming into the holiday season, which most of us think is stressful in a good year. Thanksgiving during a pandemic. Yikes!

Unrelated photo of me taken late last week.

Yeah, a year like this, one with so much upheaval, can be paralyzing. Even worse, it is distracting. Because, gentle reader, in my humble opinion, our real jobs while we are here living this short, wonderful, beautiful life, is to grow into the best versions of ourselves we can be. And if you are busy dealing with the mounting pressure of the current moment by yelling about it, or running away from it, or ignoring it, or fighting with relatives about social distancing, you don’t always take the time to look inside yourself to see what’s going on in there.

But, this year, although incredibly difficult in a lot of ways, is also a year of opportunity.  This year is one of the ones where the illusion of what we have told ourselves  is “normal” gets peeled back a bit, and we are given a glimpse of what lies underneath.  This is a chance for us to use the upheaval and, as C.S. Lewis wrote in the Chronicles of Narnia, go “Further up and further in.”  This is our chance to look at ourselves when we’re not lulled into sleep by the comfort of the normal.

Which, of course, is much easier said than done.

Still, and this might just be me, I think everyone can benefit from looking at the assumptions they’ve made about themselves every so often. And this year, while we’re re-evaluating everything else we’ve believed was normal anyway, is a good chance do it.

That’s what I’ve been doing in some areas of my life. Sometimes I have affirmed, or re-affirmed, the assumptions I had made about myself. Sometimes I’ve realized those assumptions either aren’t true or were driven by fear. But the most important thing is, by challenging my beliefs about myself, I’ve been able to strip away some deadwood and start moving forward again.  A little bit. Tottery little baby steps. But moving forward in spite of it all.

So I invite you all to join me. Yes, everything around us is noisy and chaotic. Yes, everything around us is changing. But that’s only to be expected.  Life is change. Take advantage of the fact that nothing’s normal anyway and really look inside the old melon. Go further up and further in. Hey, what else are you doing? Yelling? Hiding under a blanket? Eating chocolate?

Okay, you can still eat chocolate.

Another unrelated photo of me taken earlier this week.



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