Finding peace within the storm is always easier said than done. The old saying, “dance in the rain,” is easy if you’re a young child with red colored rain boots, a bright yellow rain jacket, no financial concerns, no health or employment concerns, no isolation, and a safe warm loving home to dry off in. This has not been the case for many; for most 2020 has been brutal. This year has come equipped with its very own set of challenges: killer bees, a global pandemic, unemployment rates at their highest since the great depression, unlimited TikTok dances, a crashing economy, Tiger King, and most recently a shell shocking video of police brutality resulting in protests across the world. It has challenged and scared us. It’s showed us the ugliest parts of ourselves and yet it has also shown the most beautiful side of us. This year will be a year we will look like back on for the rest of our lives, and it’s not over yet.
In my head, 2020 is singing the famous words of Miley Cyrus over and over, “I came in like a wrecking ball.” This year came in fast, aggressive, and destructive. Many people lost their jobs, became fearful of becoming ill, started working from home, became “essential”, and took over educating their children. Store shelves were emptied. No one could find toilet paper. People also learned to dance, make bread, watched Netflix, Zoomed with their community, and hugged the family members they could even tighter.
Since 2020 has thrown a whole new set of challenges at us, I thought I would take some time to share the favorite tip I give my clients to make it through this impossible year: Give Grace.
This year changed our world over the course of a week. It reminded us that we are not immortal. It came in like a wrecking ball and has left significant destruction. And now we are tasked with rebuilding (often for the better) our world. And as we rebuild, we need grace. It is okay to not be perfect, to need to say no, or be scared. It is hard to find a new normal working from home or to be job hunting. It is hard to be isolated with the same people or to be completely alone. It has been a hard year and so if ever there was a time when we all need grace it is right now.
It is impossible to put your best foot forward when you are scared, worried, lonely, angry, anxious and/or (insert all feeling that 2020 has brought to you). Biologically speaking, our brain does not even allow us to put our best foot forward when we are feeling stressed. Instead our brain activates our stress responses, which are commonly known as “flight, fight, or freeze.” When we are experiencing these stress responses, it is impossible to do everything perfectly. Which is why 2020 is the year we all must learn to give ourselves and others grace. It’s also the year to fight for what you believe in, challenge yourselves, do the best you can but always let yourself and others not be perfect. We are growing and our world is changing; things are hard. It’s okay to be a mess.
I’d like to leave you with this last thought: ask for help. Please know that following all the advice in the world will never give you the healing holistic care that a therapist provides. This year has become the year of spotlighting all the parts of ourselves and our world that need healing, changing, and adjusting. Giving yourself grace is a suggestion for managing all the uncomfortable feelings, but the only real answer to healing is digging through all your weeds, pulling what needs pulling, planting what you can, and relentlessly doing the work within ourselves. As much as we many want to “dance in the rain,” if we do not first work through all that is keeping us from being carefree, we will never be able to truly dance without worry.
Written by: Selah Smith, Licensed Professional Counselor / National Certified Counselor
Twin Cities Therapy and Counseling Associates is a mental health clinic with counseling services by caring therapists. Please visit twincitiestherapyandcounseling.com for more information.