2020 - I'm sorry, please forgive me!
Updated: Jan 7, 2021
It's taken me a few days to write this post about my relationship with 2020 because I had to let the dust settle before I was prepared to air my dirty laundry.
I suppose our relationship started out like any other. The desire to navigate unchartered territory together, mixed with tentative promises and mild flirtations with the future. 2020 courted me and pursued me from early November, nudging me into planning, dreaming and imagining. Oh, it began with so much promise and anticipation. This could be the one!
News started circulating about a mysterious virus very far away, but that didn't worry us, we were too lost in the wonders of the honeymoon phase of our relationship.
I never listened to the warnings. How can one imagine the unimaginable? How does one put breaks on plans that are already in process? How does one say goodbye to a way of life that has been carefully constructed and orchestrated?
2020 kept reassuring me everything was going to be ok and that the year would play out exactly as it was meant to. I listened to him as one trustingly listens to a partner in a secure relationship.
Within a few weeks we moved from being distant observers to active participants in a global pandemic that indiscriminately crossed borders and turned the world upside down. I pleaded with him to change his mind, I begged him to return to the idealised year I had dreamt of, but he wouldn't listen to me.
He said, "Niki my love, this is happening for you, trust me."
I cried, I stamped my feet, I beat my fists on the wall shouting, "I don't want this! This is not right! People are suffering! Why are you doing this?"
2020 gently smiled at me and said, "My darling Niki, I am not trying to hurt anyone. This is life. Who promised you that the world you planned and imagined would be guaranteed? I know this is difficult, perhaps even unbearable, but can you find it in yourself to accept this new way of life?"
And there were losses. So many losses. Goodbyes to ones I loved. Goodbyes to planned projects. Goodbyes to a steady income. Goodbyes to the plans I had made. Goodbyes to normality. Goodbyes to lazy days spent laughing and eating with family and friends. Goodbyes...
"No!" I screamed back through my mask and slammed the door in his shocked face.
"I want to break up!"
And so my journey of putting my broken heart back together began. One glorious, magnificent piece at a time. The coming together was like creating a new person, a new mind and a huge, expanded heart. But in fact, it was a process of coming home to my true essence. That part of me that had always been there, waiting to be uncovered.
No this is not a diatribe against 2020, nor is it a scathing attack on 'that' virus that stole our comfortable, predictable lives and replaced it with a world of fear, loss and 'don't knows'. This is a tribute to my relationship with a year that brought me back to my deeper self.
2020 hit us like a tsunami sweeping out all the loose bits and forcing us to root and only hold onto the things that truly matter. It taught us to re-evaluate what's important and what's not & to sift through our stories and discover who we are without them. Oh yes, this has been a time to 'Marie Kondo' our minds!
He waited patiently at the door, waited for me to open it until I finally uttered the words "2020, I accept you as you are."
And that became my love language in my relationship with 2020 - ACCEPTANCE. It didn't mean I was going to give in and become apathetic. Not at all, as soon as I accepted the uncertainty of life and trusted completely in the process, a peace came over me and all fear dissipated. This made way for a much deeper examination into my work and burst open portals to creativity, expression & action.
Covid19 had no patience with my fear & procrastination around technology and thrust me into the world of Zoom. Before I knew it I was a whizz at Zoom meetings! My monthly Coffee and Conversations with Niki sessions happened online, I started giving talks to people all over the world, mc'd events and even started facilitating my one-on-one Mind Freedom sessions online. Weekly family quiz nights popped up and so did weekly virtual cocktails with girlfriends around the country.
I spent the most glorious time with my husband and sons. We laughed, we argued, we played, we cried, we ate (boy did we eat!) and we learnt to be flexible and to adjust to the everchanging rules around socialising and attending school. I will always be immensely grateful for the gift of this uninterrupted and delicious time with my family. I will carry it in my heart as the greatest gift of all!
I could hear his words playing in my mind, "Niki my love, this is happening for you, trust me" and I finally HEARD what he was trying to tell me.
I am not running the show.
I am a passenger on this roller coaster ride called life.
However, I get to fiddle with the switches inside me - the buttons that can shift my perspective in an instant and produce a new, fresh state of mind. It doesn't just happen. I work hard at bringing myself out of the past & future and back into the present moment. I'm disciplined when it comes to keeping my mind clean, open and still. It's about being mindful of my thoughts, being awake to my 'go to' stories I've become attached to over my lifetime and slowly unpicking them. It's about brining myself back to the place where my power lives - this moment. This moment that is free of time, days and years.
And so I am reminded of Ho'oponopono, the ancient Hawaiian practice of healing through forgiveness. No, it is not about forgiving 2020 for what he did to our relationship, it's rather about asking him to forgive me:
Forgive me for cursing you.
Forgive me for thinking I know better.
Forgive me for turning my back.
Forgive me for blaming.
Forgive me losing faith.
Dear beloved 2020. You were not the year I thought you would be and I certainly wouldn't choose to get into another relationship with you. You didn't break me, you made me stronger, wiser and incredibly grateful for all that I have.
As they say as part of the Ho'oponopono practice:
"I'm sorry, please forgive me" and then "Thank you, I love you".
So before you kick 2020 to the curb, perhaps you can take a moment or two to consider whether there has been growth within you. Have you noticed? Are you still too raw to contemplate it?
Be gentle and take it slow. It's not the year or the events during the year that will define you. It is how you deal with the challenges, the way you think about them and ultimately the choices you make, moment by moment. You decide.
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