Many of us were recently given the opportunity to do something we often dream of: staying home. For once, the government commanded stay-at-home orders across the United States.
As more and more cases were declared COVID-19 positive, we found that our systems for quality connection expanded. We learned how to cook Grandma’s recipes, and courageously cut each other’s hair. With the sacrifice of many lives came a great shift in society, but for some, it was a greater shift in spiritual awareness.
For once, I saw something different in the world: positive graffiti messages covered sidewalks and driveways, and massive group donations and monetary gifts started coming from nowhere. People came together … globally! Massive industries shut down their usual lines of production in exchange for assembling products that were in higher demand.
For the first time, we finally turned off the news. We watched everything on Netflix, and some even started making their own at-home clips. Perhaps even the most popular trend on social media was the continual appearance of homemade Corona-memes.
We got to know the strangers in our house, dared to talk to neighbours and became more aware of our cities, including the smaller eateries. Together, through what was a hard and fearful time, we remembered who we are.
A shift in our awareness
As we quieted human life, wild animals started coming into our abandoned civilizations. Cities got quiet, and thus, localized, natural vibes were restored to less stressful measures. Connections with nature were restored, and relationships were sustained virtually.
We were sure to check in with each other and stay together through this trying period of distance. It had been a longer time than we thought since we last talked with that loved one!
After coming to terms with and accepting that 2020 has not been the best year, we acknowledged our common fears and spent some time with them (since we had locked ourselves inside and exhausted everything else to do). Some managed to outgrow the fear, or perhaps, it disengaged itself. Regardless, we wanted truths.
As we were left to this pandemic by ourselves, messages across various media swarmed with health awareness messages. Concerns for mental health/suicide risks, at-home workouts and spiritual learning became of interest.
Shifts in our awareness took place as we were barred from following our usual routine footsteps. Earth Day was different, among other activities. Spring cleaning had a new meaning. Discovery inspired us to move forward into a new way of life.
Most of us on lockdown were given essential privileges, which included house/home maintenance. Such was symbolic of the inner work we were to accomplish during this period.
As we slowed down and got quieter, we were able to listen to the most subtle of our needs. Spiritual needs don’t usually avail themselves directly, but they find an indirect route, coming in to alert us that something in life needs change.
With the sacrifice of over 330,000 lives and counting, the rest of us became more aware of social and economic stories that we unconsciously believed in. Upon self-examination, we took steps towards that which carries a deeper meaning for us, both on an individual and a collective level.
Driven inwards from our basic assumptions of the world, we found ourselves more attentive to matters of spirit.
A new vision
We have heard that the year 2020 was the year for perfect vision, metaphorically speaking. So far, it is living up to its expectations. To get a clearer vision, we needed to declutter some things in our frontier.
We needed to take a step back, take a relaxing breath, calm down and detoxify our nervous systems from the daily stresses of life, while finding that life is more than just the nine-to-five swing. In the midst of risky uncertainty, we raised our own flags, subtly declaring our own sense of individuality.
While we stayed inside, we also searched inside. We took new steps on our journeys that didn’t leave us with a sense of wanting to look back. We look forward now; we ask where we will go next, coming out of the 2020 Coronavirus times.
When we say we want to return to ‘normal,’ we really ask what social normalcy looks like going forward. Throughout this year, we accepted and will continue to accept change: change to our lifestyles and change within. Those who took the step forward, into inner and collective awareness, feel the change.
We are now reaching deeper, in search of more meaningful encounters, whether these are personal or communal endeavours. The start of a sacred journey comes from giving oneself space and time, which is exactly what the Coronavirus quarantine gifted us.
When we rid ourselves of external distractions, come inside ourselves and relax (again, the effect of quarantining), we are able to be honest with ourselves; perhaps, for the first time, we were able to see the dawning light of truth. Because of the quarantine, many are opening their third eye with 2020 vision.
We suddenly live in a different society, reminiscing on nostalgic memories of pre-Coronavirus times. It was gone before we knew it; we didn’t get to say goodbye.
Somehow, we eagerly await the return to normal. The longing to return to pre-Coronavirus times is real and familiar, yet illusive. The first trial from the pandemic was fear, which most passed in their own personal journey. As we brace for the shift back to normalcy, we again await a trial of letting go of the past.
Accepting this truth—that we will never again see that ‘normal’ our idealized mind created—is the first step needed towards a 2020 vision. Now we head forward with a new normal, a new vision.