I find it so hard to think outside the realm of this current year. It feels as though every decision, every set back every, single day rests on the unsettled atmosphere of what is happening in the streets, neighborhoods, cities…and the world around us. 

At any given moment, the world could change again. In an instant, our lives could shift and we can be left hanging like we were back in March when the whole world came to a screeching halt.

Sometimes I feel like I’m holding my breath; I’m waiting for the “next shoe to drop.” The next bad thing is waiting just around the corner or we can feel it breathing down our neck like it’s about to pounce…bringing our walls around us to a crumble. 

Does any of this make sense to you? Does 2020 feel like an impending doom, like we’re stuck in a revolving bad dream. Groundhog’s Day; We can’t seem to wake from this terrible slumber? 

{Control + Alt + Delete}

Recently, I woke up to a Twitter notification on my phone. It was a person I don’t even follow on my news feeds, yet somehow I ended up with his status update. His wife had just died unexpectedly and suddenly. As he came to the social world with his sorrow, my heart ached for his immediate loss and unknown future. Who would he hold when the nights were long? Who would hold him as he wept in painful tears with a broken heart? And immediately my heart sank as I put myself into his shoes. I can’t even imagine his pain, nor do I want to. 2020 can take a hike. 

This year has been hard. Some might even call it The worst. And it’s not even over yet. The  truth is, we don’t know what any of the future days, months and years ahead will look like either. Perhaps, this is why so many have found themselves in the pit of depression, riddled with anxiety… which might explain the vast suicide rate in our nation these last, few months.

I take a deep breath. (Because sometimes I feel like that’s all I can do when everything feels so unknown around my circumstances.)

 I exercise the skills I have learned in my personal, counseling sessions. I take control of what I can: my own thoughts and my own fears. I’ll acknowledge them for a time. I can realize that they come from an honest place, that they intend to be truthful and probably hold some credentials for what is happening in the real-life I’m living.  But I am in control of them. 

My thoughts do not control me. 

I place them neatly in a little box in my mind and set them on the shelf there. I can (and eventually will) revisit them later, but my fears won’t control me anymore. No. I will control them.

 I recognize that I cannot control what the future of this world holds. I cannot imagine what a future after pandemic looks like  even though I try, or what the state of a nation in civil unrest will be in a few short months post-presidential election. The world around me is on fire. The days are evil. Life is hard. 

Living in turmoil is never the answer. And in a world on fire, I can make the choice to extinguish the flames. I can take up peaceful amends and choose to love my neighbor in the cold, civil  war that is raging in nearby cities.  I have no reason to join in the chaos that corrupts our environments. 

I will choose to spread love in my words and my thoughts and my deeds to those both near and far from my political convictions. We may have grown up differently, but we both bleed red.

We both have souls. We both live in an unsettled season Where if anything? We can agree to disagree… that something has to change.

Let me challenge you in what’s left of this year: 2020. The year that tried to break us all. 

Take your weary thoughts, your fearful concerns, your angry agenda and lay them down. Place them in a box on a shelf and revisit them later. Take control of the memories, the setbacks, the letdowns, and own them for what they are. Control the thoughts…because that is all they are…and they do not have the privilege of consuming your beautiful spirit. 

Remember that you were made for so much more than just surviving but in the chaos of this year, we must begin our thriving. 

There are three months left of 2020. Can we make a pact? Can we gather our boxes of heartache and let-down and unknown, can we stack them together and carry each other’s loads? I am ready to move on. Ready to begin again, but we can’t do that until we lean on each other’s shoulders. 

We are here for you. We are listening. We are ready. #BeginAgain

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