The year 2020 has changed the world in an untold number of ways. Has it changed you?
Purple is the traditional color for Advent. Advent: a time of waiting, the coming of something, the beginning of a new thing. In my Christian tradition, we call the four Sundays before Christmas Day the season of Advent. We are waiting for the Christ Child. Every year we know we will celebrate Christmas – when God put on human flesh and joined us in time and space. Advent allows us to reflect, ponder, assess, and confess if necessary. We wait for four weeks, then we celebrate. That celebration will happen later this week.
2020, unlike any other year in our lifetimes, was phenominal. Not in a good way. With the worldwide pandemic, ravaging wildfires on seveal continents, floods and hurricanes with severity not seen before. For the United States, we had a political season and election that voted in a new president by millions of votes that other millions of Americans will not believe. How have you survived 2020? It is a year that has traumatized millions of people. Are you one of them?
I started a new ministry this year: Flourishing Souls. (Flourishingsouls.org) For that is my goal for every human being. For each person can find healing, grounding, awareness, and the deep, non-judgmental love God has for each and every one of us. Yes, you can believe it too. Flourishing Souls uses contemplative prayers and the Enneagram for self-awareness and union with God. I will do group teachings on Centering Prayer and class introductions to the spiritual aspects of the Enneagram. I also do individual sessions with the Integrative Enneagram and how it reveals the essence of who you are: God’s image. God’s very breath started all the beauty and wonder in the world…and you are part of the brilliance.
So, those of you who are ready for something new in life that is not outside of you but within you perhaps now is your time to step into that place to find the space that will do that for you. If we all are willing to use the discomfort of 2020, the uncertainty of 2020, the pain and fear of 2020 to move into a better way of being in the world, that is resilience work. That is vulnerability work. That is strength of character, or as Brene Brown would say, “wholeheartedness.” Are you ready, are you willing to be wholehearted?
I learned early in the shut-down that I am not considered an ‘essential worker’ as it relates to the pandemic. So for the past nine months, I have been isolated (with my husband and dogs). I have been quarantined away from all the people I love, the communities I was a part of, and from the life and schedule I had created for myself. All gone. (I do want to thank and revere all those who are essential and care for and protect us, you are amazing!). So in my hibernation time, part of starting up this new ministry caused me to do some deep soul searching myself. I’ve dealt with the healing of some childhood trauma I had not yet addressed. I’ve dealt with unrealistic time frames and internal reorganizing of my own heart. Now, I am ready (not completely or perfectly ready but), as ready as I will be to journey with my fellow human beings. 2020 has brought me through some low and uncertain days and I am using it as an Advent for what is to come in the next year: 2021.
There can’t be a going back to where we were pre2020. The world has changed and you have changed. But that’s good even if it doesn’t feel good. We have learned things and gotten wiser this past year. Imagine, what you and God can do in the next year if your willing to open your heart, your mind, and your body to live as the Spirit of Truth beckons you to live. There are many ways and places in the world for you to find the next best thing for your heart. It doesn’t have to be Flourishing Souls, but it should be something. You didn’t survive 2020 to go back to what you were doing, being who you were. Don’t settle for what was. Pray that God gives you the vision for your soul and your next steps. 2021 awaits and we should be celebrating!