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What Was the Most Difficult Part of 2020? The Unacknowledged Reality of the Year of Our Personal Development
Last year a patient asked me what I thought the most difficult part of 2020 had been. I immediately knew what I’d say but I was hesitant to share.
I don’t think the hardest part of 2020, and now 2021, has been the pandemic. Nor was it the extremely necessary social upheaval we’ve experienced with the Black Lives Matter movement. It also wasn’t the feeling of unrest that blanketed the nation last September and October around the election or the vaccine mandates being rolled out.
These events have precipitated, highlighted, and magnified my deepest concern.
I spent most of my teens and 20s trying to close off my heart.
I wanted to become impervious to the pain of the world and to my own.
Hard, impenetrable, and strong. Not soft, weak, and tender like I’d felt my whole life.
I fantasized about what a welcome relief it would be to feel less.
I was “too sensitive” for most people and was encouraged to push my feelings away, pull myself up by my bootstraps and soldier through, like anyone else with common sense. I’m sure I’m not alone in this life experience.
In early March before COVID-19 hit the Pacific Northwest hard, my husband and I took a trip to Breitenbush Hot Springs in rural Oregon for some much needed rest and recovery.
The springs were as gloriously relaxing and rejuvenating as you’d imagine.
The land was pristine and so, so quiet.
But I was stressed out about the trip for a full month before we left.
The last time I had visited Breitenbush was 12 years ago at one of the lowest points of my life.