The Power of the Past Year: Reset

When @kmwestbrookevents and I did a photo shoot last year, the first place we went was to the dilapidated house that will one day see beauty again. Why? Because we both know that beauty from ashes and joy from pain isn’t cliche but is reality and is a transition that you can experience when you do the work to heal internally and fully.

Me sitting in front of a dilapidated house writing.

Life this past year has been intense. Some people found time. Others created it. Many more lost it. Some people found out they couldn’t stand the life they created for themselves. Others started creating a life they truly loved. Some changed their social circles. Others expanded theirs as they realized the need for support. While we were “all in this together” we also very much experienced it (and continue to do so) very differently.

But there is one thing we all had this past year regardless of whether we worked, were laid off, quit, or were fired. There is one thing that we all have in common across all economic lines and class divisions. There is one thing that none of us can say we didn’t have the opportunity to do.

Reset.

We all had a chance to watch what was happening in our world and reset our default reactions. Some fought back and found a voice in sharing content and comments that were hurtful to others and showed character that caused loss of friendships, jobs, and more. Others rose to the challenge and found their voice by speaking up in areas they never thought they’d have the courage to speak out. And freedom of speech gave both groups the right to do so.

We use platforms like Instagram and Twitter with hastags like #findyourvoice #writeyourstory #useyourvoice #shareyourtruth as if we mean them. And maybe we do. But when someone finds their voice in a way we disagree with, we tell them to shut up. When they write their story and it looks different than we believed it to be, we tell them they are wrong or that their lived experience doesn’t matter.

The truth is that if we truly want to live in a country with freedom of expression, whether that is through speech or artistic creations, we have to respect that others don’t always agree with us. I will never understand racism, and yet I have participated in acts that were racist when I look at my life through the lens of friends from others races. I will never understand bigotry, and yet I have been a bigot when I look at my life through the lens of friends who are homosexual, pansexual, or transgender. I will never understand willful ignorance, and yet I remain ignorant to the history of our country because it bores me to read historic texts without fictional slants. I can’t ask for freedom of expression for only myself. I have to extend that same desire for freedom to those who see the world through other lens. Whose lives are different from my own. Who think, act, and show up differently from how I think, act, and show up.

But this doesn’t have to be damning for us.

Instead, we can use our reset to reconsider our stance. And that doesn’t mean you change your mind so much as it means that you truly reflect on what you believe, why you believe it, and if that belief still serves you and aligns with your integrity today.

One of my closest friends is Muslim. She is a human I can speak with about ANYTHING. In fact, should I ever come into big money, she would have PLENTY to blackmail me on should she find herself ever in need. She lives differently and thinks differently, and yet we love one another because of our differences, not in spite of them. I’ve had some of the best biblical discussions with her because we weren’t trying to convince one another to change but instead sought to understand the lens through which the other person sees the world.

I am not saying we all need to go out and find friends who live lives that aren’t like our own. I am saying that with this past year, we had a chance to reset our own lives, expectations, journeys, and understanding. Whether anti-vaxxer or happily vaccinated, masked or unmasked, gay or straight, human rights activist or still trying to understand where systematic racism exists, we are all living this life in the same space and time. Imagine if we started having conversations with those who are different from us! Imagine if we sought to understand instead of be understood. If we sought to listen instead of be heard. If we sought to look at the world though others’ perspectives instead of wanting them to see it through ours.

I don’t know what you are going through, what you believe, how you are feeling about this current state of the world, but I know this, whether we agree or disagree, I am interested in your point of view. We can choose to hate or love. I choose love.

Because that is the path to beauty from ashes, joy from pain.

A reminder to take time to rest.

Essential Oils that help with Resetting:

Grounding, One Heart, Aroma Life, Transformation, Surrender, Present Time

These oils help you create an atmosphere that empowers reflection and honesty so you can make the changes you need and want to make in your life.

6 comments

  1. Beautifully written, my friend. How do I feel about the current state of affairs? I was in high school and college during the 60’s. Talk about uproar and unsettling times. It seemed like real change was happening and yet here we are, at it seems like no change has happened at all. I will say this: substantive change in this country is incremental, and often so slight that it appears nothing has happened from day to day, but it does happen, and it is happening. Will we ever stamp out racism? I truly don’t believe we will. We will always have bigotry. We will always have a financial system which is stacked against the poor. Those things are as old as civilization. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make things better, and it always begins with me.

    Have a wonderful weekend! Sending hugs from Olympia!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bill,
      I’ve been really reflecting on what it would take to make any change and I agree with you on both points:
      **any change will feel insignificant moment by moment
      **we will never fully get rid of racism, difference of opinions, etc.

      I don’t believe it is possible in this country because the news outlets feed fear and there’s no way around that. Each network has its slant and feel good news isn’t tuned into as much as fearmongering is.

      It reminds me of a quote in Big Sky, “People love to be scared.” It’s why we (myself included) choose a murder mystery or psychological thriller over romance books or feel-good stories.

      However, thankfully for this post and my thoughts right now, I’m thinking about the part we can play separate from all of that.

      **Make conversation with a friend who doesn’t have the same thoughts towards issues.
      **Really dive into why we feel how we feel on topics like religion, politics, and more.

      I remember going through the election and having to turn off FB because there was waaaayyyy too much name calling and throwing out of words that I would never use. As I witnessed it from some in my circle, I had to question how I never saw that level of hatred and anger. As I reflected I came to the conclusion that I’d never seen it because I don’t take pleasure in calling someone names if they don’t agree with me. I listen. I consider. I make an informed decision that sometimes involves changing my mind and other times means moving on as I was.

      I’m pretty sure I just typed another blog post length response. 🤦🏽‍♀️ This is why I should not be allowed to comment from phone on Saturday mornings.

      Who am I kidding? Even from computer or any other day, I’m long winded.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There was a line of dialogue from the television series “West Wing” which has always stuck in my head…I paraphrase….”In the absence of a voice of reason, people will believe anyone with a microphone and an air of authenticity.” That’s where we find ourselves today, and now, more than maybe ever before, we need voices of reason.

    Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with @Billybuc as I’m blessed to have been born in ’55 and lived the 60s & 70s, etc. That perspective allows me to see how far we’ve come. I don’t see racism/bigotry, etc. eradicated as I believe those are heart issues in every person. We can learn from others, but it is the heart that needs to change. All I see going on now isn’t changing any hearts, but instead people dig in deeper to their stance. Legislation isn’t changing hearts either. Racists/bigots, etc. will always find a way to be such….along the same line as criminals will always get guns regardless of laws. So much on this, but not interested in writing a blog post, lol! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing you thoughts. I was trying to get across the point that we can look inward. It wasn’t about government or other avenues. That is never going to change, as you and I both know. My point was that WE, as individuals, have a chance to change and reset and ensure where we stand is truly where we stand. It’s not about anyone around us but who we are, what we believe, and what we stand upon. There is so much noise that I’m thankful for a year away from so much of it and almost hesitant to jump back in. It’s been nice choosing what comes into my ears because the only sources had on off buttons or apps/sites I had to click on.

      That said, I got a beach pass if you have an evening you’d like to go. Would be nice to catch up, human to human, and get some sun while at it. 🙂 Shoot me a text or message and we’ll make plans if you’re up or it. June is busy but July and August I’m taking time each evening for me and the waves.

      Like

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