I've been percolating on this one for a couple of days. The past year has not impacted me the way it has many others, and I carry a bit of guilt for it. Granted, I recognize it is ridiculous, and I do keep it in check, but it doesn't change the fact I still feel it sometimes. I spent a lot of time last year feeling like I need to give back somehow, because so much was given to me, but taken away from others. And since COVID limits in-person things, it was difficult for me to find ways to balance this within myself. So I decided to support as many local businesses as I could by buying local, as well as donating what I could to fundraisers and to those needing help.
Emotional support has been more difficult, as I have been feeling a bit empty in that department for awhile now. My role in life has always been being there for others, providing support and encouragement. I'm a positive person, and have a way of finding the words/actions a person needs to help them along their way. Unfortunately, I don't really have that in return, and with some significant family stuff happening since last summer, what is going out exceeds what is coming in. I will say it has gotten better the last couple of months, however, I am still working to replenish what has been given. Regardless of all this, though, I still give all I can to help others see the silver lining that is indeed there.
For everyone: from now until the end of the year, make a pact with yourself. Promise that you will take a moment to step outside, close your eyes, and deeply breathe in the air. As you do, take in what you smell, what you feel on your skin, and what you hear around you. Hold that breath for a moment, reflecting on those things. As you exhale, relax all your muscles, letting the tension drain away. Open your eyes, and look at the world's beauty for what it is. The vibrancy of the colors, the movement of the wind. Do this every day. I'd be willing to bet that by the end of the year (most likely much sooner), you'll look within and find a peace, a balance, in your soul.