A letter to all Year 2020 Survivors.
In this month of December 2020, I have decided to write something much more personal. I am very much aware that to some, you are probably busy with the affairs of the world or have deadlines to meet yet to some, it’s been a while since you had a meaningful job, are barely surviving but to most, your plight is not physical, but you are a walking emotional corpse having had your consciousness broken to the core by grave loss during this tumultuous year. Some have labelled it a calamity with COVID-19 overstaying its welcome, loss in all spheres including loved ones leaving us to wonder if we will make it to the last day of the year.
A respected and learned friend recently asked me to define self-awareness, to which I gave the standard definition that it is the conscious knowledge of one’s character, feelings, motives, and desires. I think as simple as it may sound, this is the hardest step one can ever take because it is a painful one but can lead to unlimited possibilities.
We live in timelines and each of them has a language, dress code, etiquette, fashion trends and above all, a benchmark of achievement. Timelines shape history and through them, we can change history in the present by changing laws, perceptions and thriving to break existing records. We have an inherent desire to outdo our previous generation or, better still, like Gandhi would put it, “Leave the world better than we found it”.
William Shakespeare, in his book Twelfth Night, submits that “some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them,” which when you come to think of it, describes three fundamental starting points of our journey on this earth. Some arrive in this world with a welcome package of inheritance from family wealth/name/blessing. Through their life journey and tapping into their gifts, some achieve greatness, yet some, through serendipity or by confluences, have the luck of moving from zero to hero.
It should be noted that conception is divine and while lying in the Babies Room in hospital, every child has equal potential to achieve anything they set their mind on. At this point, the child has a Tabular Rasa mind meaning empty, ready to be filled with hope or defeat. It is the environment and exposure that becomes the variable.
Bill Gates says, “Where you were born is not your fault but where you will die probably is”, a statement that sounds unfair to a person with a sad story, traumatic experience and what is termed a predictable sad future.
Take, for example, a car when it is in a manufacturing plant; no-one can predict who the owner will be, where the car will end up, or on what kind of roads it will be driven. However, Isn’t it interesting that it goes through quality checks, is assembled to endure the terrains for which it is made for, fitted with a computer box and engine to sustain it, then branded with a name to announce its capability. The car is able, yet it is the driver who can mess things up. The vehicle has every function for all purposes, yet it takes the owner to know HOW?
Sir Isaac Newton once said that an object would constantly continue in its trajectory unless disturbed by an external force. This means that you came into this world perfect, ready for your assignment, yet external forces have gotten the better of you and you have forgotten your name. You have a name that describes YOU; your capacity, character, feelings, motives, and desires. The greatest weapon to render you irrelevant is to make you forget your worth, to erase your memory, take away your dignity, reduce your value and make you believe that you are not enough. This sets you up on a journey of an identity crisis because you do not know yourself. You begin to value people’s opinions, feel safer in masses, seek validation for everything you set up to do because you are not confident enough to make decisions, you overcompensate and make questionable choices, you critic and hate everything that reminds you of what you could have been, in short, you become a bitter individual.
The loss of your self-identity, self-worth and self-esteem puts you in limbo, that is, living in a time loop where you replay a tragic story or experience that rationalizes the reasons for your misfortunes. You can spend decades trapped in that loop because studies show that thought patterns create a mind-frame, and a mind-frame creates a mindset, which in turn gives birth to strongholds.
Sometimes it is not about the things that are done to you or what happened in your past, but it’s about liberating yourself from the pain. The realization that LIFE IS NOW and there will never be another chance to live it. The currency of life is time and just like money, you ought to be cautious where you spend it, let alone invest, because money badly spent or invested may lead to heartache.
I guess that you lost someone this year and it’s hard to let go, especially when you think about how they were taken from you. It feels so unfair that each day seems like torture. Maybe COVID-19 was the culprit, or they left you for someone else, either took away your kids or left you with them and you are hardly making ends meet. You have to see them striving while you struggle; Maybe your parent wasn’t the greatest human being, did things that are unforgivable according to your view and left you with your siblings for a younger wife shutting down your educational future in the process, or you were a product of infidelity and had to see you father driving past you on the road while you suffer from your mother; They told you that you would never amount to anything and you were bullied at school for being poor, poverty probably made you miss a lot of milestones, caused you to lose your self-respect and you find yourself hating rich people, achievers and goal-oriented individuals because they are a constant reminder of those snobs that gave you a hard time back in school; You have been rejected so many times that you wonder when it will all end because you seem to struggle with the spirit of “Almost” in everything and probably have entertained the idea of suicide.
I want you to ask yourself why you are here, on this planet, at this present timeline, look around you and start with WHY?
Take notice that your hurt was only a painful journey to get to the point of Realization. Understand that some people who you hurt were merely projections of your pain and make amends if possible.
Know that your past is part of you but can never own your future. Your sad story is merely scars that are a constant reminder of the power of Grace. Understand that some trials were necessary for you to get where you are now.
Stop complaining and look around you. You had become an expert in describing why you can’t and it ends this year. Think about the rest of your years left in this realm. Do you want to spend them carrying the heavy load you have been pulling all these years? Let go of that sack and start walking because soon you will begin to run and when I write again, you will be flying.
Make a decision to love yourself and appreciate YOU without waiting for anyone to tell you because you are a walking miracle.
Take the first step to remove yourself from environments that create the pressure to perform (PRIDE). Stop funding things that don’t bring happiness but only create debt so that you can fit in.
Start where you are and begin to channel love to your body. Make daily confessions to yourself; it’s not overconfident but self-love. It’s not arrogance but healing your spirit. Reward yourself when you get paid this month, date yourself and tell yourself how much you missed you.
Shorten your circle because you don’t need all those friends. You are not being mean but just taking care of yourself.
Lastly, do not answer any call from your past as it has nothing new to tell you. Own your wounds, own your story and quit being pressured by the audience but do you!!
Change your diet from what you eat, what you read, what you listen to and places you find inspiration. Take the long journey of forgiveness, don’t rush it but remember that it is part of the healing process. Forgive yourself for not knowing better, for not trying hard enough and forgive yourself for neglecting yourself.
Above all, thank God that in as much as you lack so much, you are still among the living. Many accomplished people have left this realm this year, yet here you are!!
Do not, I repeat, Do not let your pain define you but let it motivate you.
You are the next big thing! Your dreams may seem on hold, but everything is in motion. Sometimes perspective is the mother of new beginnings. I pray that you escape the loop of self-bondage and begin to live on this day instead of just surviving. I pray that you resign from everything that has put unnecessary pressure on you and stole your time and shine.
This is me sending love to everyone who has survived through it all this year, who is still standing and will keep going. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and May we live to see the Year 2021