Worst Year Ever? As the new year rolls in, it is easy to want to look back at 2020 as a horrible year; a year that tested our beliefs and our faith in many things, made us question others‘ values, and brought unrest and division to an entire country.
There is no argument against the many challenges, hardships, and obstacles that 2020 brought. But it was also a year out of all our lives that we never get back; a page in all of our history books. Each year of our lives has meaning and purpose, even if things did not go at all like we wanted or planned.
One of the most helpful ways to look back at tough times is to ask ourselves “what did I learn from all of this; how did I grow?”
If we choose to look deeply, we realize that it is the tough situations that we learn and grow from the most. Gaining courage, resilience, acceptance, and other strengths doesn’t happen when things are easy; we learn to get through tough times by going through tough times. This is when we learn to adapt because we must and accept life on life’s terms instead of the terms of our own expectations.
We can let 2020 be the year that took away our hope, our faith, and our optimism, if we choose to. We can easily attach to the negativity that pervaded so many aspects of our lives and carry this with us into 2021. Or, we can let it go and ask ourselves how we can utilize our new understanding and strengths to make 2021 a more positive, inspiring, transformative, gratitude-filled year.
No matter what life throws our way, thanks to 2020 we are now more prepared than ever to get through it, adapt to whatever changes come our way, and to continue to learn and grow in positive ways.
Doty Collins, LCSW, has worked in different areas of the social work field since 2006. She has experience working with substance abuse and addictions, dual diagnosis, depression, anxiety, and PTSD. She has also been trained in alternative and complimentary chronic pain treatments, as well as brief therapy techniques. She works in the Pocatello Health West Clinic.