We did it! Somehow we made it through 2020. I think many of us are totally relieved to have 2020 behind us. I know I am.
Although there are many pieces that we might want to leave behind in 2020, there are several things we’ve learned that’ll be helpful to carry forward into 2021. Yes, there are! What comes to mind for me are ….
- Slowing down and staying home
- The preciousness of health and life
- The joy and rejuvenation experienced in nature
- The importance of the support of loved ones
What about you?
As we begin the new year and the possibility of a brand new start, what can we envision for the coming year? What seeds have been planted amidst the challenges of 2020 that will ripen and bear fruit for the health of the world in 2021?
I share with you a story by Scott Blum I stumbled across recently that may help you consider what intentions you want to set for the new year of 2021.
I was fortunate to spend time with an enigmatic man named Robert during a very special period of my life. Robert taught me many things during our days together, and this time of year reminds me of one particular interaction we had.
“Now that you are becoming more aware, Robert said to me, you need to begin to set goals for yourself so you don’t lose the momentum you have built.”
“Like New Year’s resolutions?” I asked.
“That’s an interesting idea,” he smirked. “Let’s do that.”
By then I was used to Robert’s cryptic responses, so I knew something was up because of the way his eyes sparkled as he let out an impish laugh.
“Tonight’s assignment is to make two lists,” Robert continued. “The first is a list of all the New Year’s resolutions you WANT to keep, and the second is a list of all the New Year’s resolutions you WILL keep. Write the WANT List first, and when you have exhausted all of your ideas, then write the second list on another sheet of paper.”
That night I went home and spent several hours working on the two lists. The WANT List felt overwhelming at first, but after a while I got into writing all the things I had always wanted to do if the burdens of life hadn’t gotten in the way.
After nearly an hour, the list swelled to fill the entire page and contained nearly all of my ideas of an ideal life.
The second list was much easier, and I was able to quickly commit ten practical resolutions that I felt would be both realistic and helpful.
The next day, I met Robert. “Tell me about your two lists,” Robert said as the familiar smirk crept onto his face.
“The first list contains all the things I SHOULD do if I completely changed my life to be the person I always wanted to be. And the second list contains all the things I COULD do by accepting my current life and taking realistic steps towards the life I want to lead.”
“Let me see the second list,” he said.
I handed him the second list, and without even looking at it, he ripped the paper into tiny pieces and threw it in the nearby garbage can. His disregard for the effort I had put into the list annoyed me at first, but after I calmed down I began to think about the first list in a different light. In my heart, I knew the second list was a cop out, and the first list was the only one that really mattered.
“And now, the first list.” Robert bowed his head and held out both of his hands.
I purposefully handed him the first list and held his gaze for several seconds, waiting for him to begin reading the page. After an unusually long silence, he began to crumple the paper into a ball and once again tossed it into the can without looking at it.
“What did you do that for?!” I couldn’t hide my anger any longer.
Robert began to speak in a quiet and assured voice. “What you SHOULD or COULD do with your life no longer matters. The only thing that matters, from this day forward, is what you MUST do.”
He then drew a folded piece of paper from his back pocket and handed it to me.
I opened it carefully, and found a single word floating in the middle of the white page:
As we move into the new year of 2021, I hope you are taking with you the most precious jewels that have been born from the struggles of 2020. May they shine their luminosity on your dreams for 2021, imbued with LOVE in the world!