Two days left of 2020, today and tomorrow. Most everyone I know is glad to see it come to an end. It’s been a trying year, and you can define that two ways. It’s been difficult for everyone, one that’s made all of us cry and loose sleep over. Oooorrr....you can say you stood on your own two feet, discovered yourself and kept trying to walk your own path. I think I did both.
Social pressure has been used to force us in to someone else’s idea of who they think we should be. That’s a terrible weapon. It used to be called gossip, innuendo, bullying and forcing the outliers in to conforming. But I am not part of the “us”, the “herd” of people who follow mandated rules that break our Constitutional rights. I never have been one to walk the common path. I usually stand to the side, observe, and occasionally walk with others. More usually I walk by my own set of rules. Mind you I did not say laws. I have never broken a law; no speeding tickets or parking tickets, bills are paid on time, and I am there for friends and neighbors that need me. I do not steal, lie or cheat. I do no harm (something the medical profession seems to have forgotten this year).
I am, in short, an American. Our greatest strength has been our guaranteed rights, supported by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It has made us the country most sought after by immigrants . We are creative, innovative, and powerful when we unite in a common cause. We can become almost anyone we want to be if we are willing to work for our goals. We have access to some of the best Universities in the world. And it used to be that our public school system encouraged independence and self reliance. We are also a people who share our wealth and are willing to help through charities and working for others selflessly and that was all VOLUNTARILY given.
I could beat this entry to death with more of my opinions, but I’ve already said what I needed to in previous posts. It’s time to choose my word for 2021, something I’ve been doing every year in this 21st Century. It’s too easy to forget resolutions. But one word is a challenge, a meditation, and hard to forget. That suits me. I love the power of words when they are used for positive reasons. And I am careful of the words that are destructive and cruel.
My list for this coming year has, obviously, been altered and enhanced by the events of 2020. I’ve learned about the not so subtle cruelty and pain of refusing to conform to rules and mandates that raised the hair on the back of my neck. My inner voice, something I have always listened to, has made it clear that something is rotten in the state of the world. I chose not to follow the bizarre restrictions put forth based on some of the worst science I have ever witnessed. And I paid for it dearly with the loss of people I had thought were friends. I’m fine with that. But it did hurt. Change is always difficult so I wasn’t surprised. Fear is a powerful motivator. Doesn’t mean I’m not afraid too. It does mean that I use those feelings as a battery to keep myself focused and balanced.
And I found my word. BOUNDARIES for 2021. Good fences make good neighbors. How rural Midwest of me!
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”
My words for 2020 were weirdly prescient.
FORGIVE has been used nearly everyday this year. I had to remind myself that people were reacting out of fear. It’s hard to be kind or to see from another’s point of view when a person is blindsided by fear. I react differently to fear after having a childhood ruled by extreme fear. I’m a veteran, of sorts, with PTSD. My reaction to fear is to embrace it, use it as a method to find my way to a clear set of answers . I ask questions, research, collate information, step back and breath and then determine a reaction. Most of the people I know react blindly to fear. They can’t think. I used the word, fear, six times in that paragraph to let you see how often people have been coerced by the media, using that word.
BELIEVE took discipline. But after a while I saw that the world is still there; trees are sprouting, growing, dying and falling the way they always have. Horses are in the fields, dogs at my side and cats in the barn. The Great Blue Heron and his mate lived at the sides of our three ponds and coyote sing every night. The sun comes up, my gardens grew and the frogs sang again this Spring. The real world cares very little for human politics. BELIEVE reestablished itself . I didn’t work for it. It simply is...
CONNECT was redetermined in it’s old form. I left all social media platforms, left tiny glass screens behind except as a means to communicate with my family and a few friends who had not labeled me as a heretic. And I used YouTube as a means to self educate myself in the history of fine art and farming/gardening. I re-CONNECTED to the real world and left the non reality of cyber space behind.
I feel like I’ve been successful following my three words from this waning year. How interesting that, before any of the shit hit the fan, I felt like it was a year for three words! Somehow I knew it was going to be challenging, that it merited three powerful words.
My family, my animals, friends, the land and a firmly set moral compass are going to be my guides this year. 2020 taught me to expect the unexpected. My BOUNDARIES will expand, change and evolve as the days roll along but they will always be based on love, compassion, honesty, kindness, hard work and devotion to my inner voice and the land.
I wish all of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR full of love, time spent with the people you care for and hope, always hope.
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.
From THE FOUR AGREEMENTS by Don Miguel Ruiz
I am, always yours, Miss Nancy, smiling at the way things go....