Best year…EVER

It’s true: 2020, for me, was the best year ever.

How can I possibly say that? Am I on drugs? (No) Did I spend the year on a different planet? (No. Well, not technically. Read on, Macduff…)

This is the year it all became clear. It was the perfect year to test my new-found ability to maintain inner peace and happiness, what with fires, floods, political shenanigans and betrayals, death, separation from loved ones, new (and old) health issues, racism and inequalities galore.

The inner peace and near-constant joy I experience now become more extraordinary in light of my 50+ years of depression. For more than fifty years, I experienced suicidal thoughts: my first suicide attempt was at age 14. The most serious attempt, which landed me in a psych ICU in 1991, taught me to never EVER let health professionals know how depressed I was, and make sure I succeeded the next time. For I was sure there would be a next time. I learned to bring myself back from the brink, though, by such methods as planning a trip to Ireland (I believed I was happiest there), or moving (to Ireland or, if I couldn’t afford it, to somewhere else), and finally by telling myself I had to clear out and organize all my papers and things so my kids wouldn’t have to do it. (That, actually, was the most successful deterrent. You have no idea how much I hated paperwork.)

Then, in 2020 — and thanks to COVID isolation — I saw the light. At first daily, then hourly, then minute by minute, I deeply learned these truths: that happiness has nothing, absolutely NOTHING to do with money, health, religion (or lack thereof), “life purpose” or even family and friends. It has NOTHING to do with where I live, be it the street or a mansion, or what the weather is like, or — and this was a very big one for me — how much I got “done.” It has NOTHING to do with how much education I have (indeed, I wonder if higher education got in the way of my learning these truths sooner), or where a person is on the ladder of success (there is no ladder; it is a fiction), if you’re crippled or an Olympic athlete, if you clean toilets for a living or run a Fortune 500 company.

As incredible as it may sound, I see no problems in the world anymore, for my world is what’s right in front of me and its nature reflects my thoughts and perceptions. If I experience any anxiety, frustration, or sadness, I know it is because I’m believing a thought that’s untrue for me, and I question it. I find it rather funny that for so many years I wrote articles and blog posts and whatnot about my life’s journey, exhorting others to try this method or that guru. Now that I’ve actually found peace and happiness, I can offer no lessons or instruction, hence the paucity of blog posts this past year. I cannot give you peace of mind: only you can do that.

Peace in your time is possible. It’s not “out there,” it’s within. It’s accessible to all, free of charge.

May 2021 be your best year ever.

2 thoughts on “Best year…EVER

  1. I love your positive look on this COVID situation. Maybe God thought we needed it so we could all find our inner peace, although many people have suffered from it.
    Iā€™m happy you have found peace and happiness šŸ’ž

  2. Thank you, Jackie, for understanding and for taking the time to respond. Indeed, we suffer until we realize that what we thought was “bad” was actually a blessing in disguise. I’ve learned to look for the blessing straightaway — I know it’s in there! And when I see it, the channels for healing and creative alternatives burst forth. I find myself living in a constant state of gratitude, unfettered now by fear. If you think about it, we’re all living in the moment: that’s all we have. It’s our thoughts that focus on pasts or futures, neither of which we have any control over whatsoever. Focusing on those past stories (that fuel the fear of our future), we miss what’s actually going on right in front of us, which is always far, far kinder than any stories we’ve concocted. Some people think I’m a Pollyanna living in obliviousness, but it’s the opposite. I live in a state of awareness, constantly floored by the magnificence of existence. If I’m marinating in suffering (caused by believing my thoughts) and worrying about what will happen to me or to the world, there’s no way for my innate compassion, kindness, and creative problem-solving to shine through. And we all have those innate qualities. Fear blinkers us; awareness opens up a whole amazing world of possibilities. Lots of love to you, Jackie! So glad you wrote to me.

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