When I think about this title my mind automatically thinks, what haven’t we learned in 2020!! With a pandemic in place we have had to pivot so quickly that it’s almost hard to remember all of the new rules we have had to learn. Physical distancing, masks, restricted travel, no house guests, staying within our community, no parents in their kids schools. The list goes on. Here’s the thing with socialism. It very quickly creates new conditioning that rapidly replaces the old.
Do you remember when we used to blow out the candles on our birthday cake and then share said cake with everyone? Or when we used to even have birthday parties for that matter? And how about when we used to line up for things like concerts, heel to toe? These old patterns of behaviour were replaced so quickly that it seems ludicrous that we even used to do them.
So while I know there are many, many lessons we have learned over 2020, I would like to share the perspective of what we may actually be un-learning.
Humans are a social species that rely on interaction to thrive and survive. It is in our very DNA not only to want, but to need to reach out and form bonds and meaningful connections. This mentality that we have deep within us being forced to be reframed. Where a trusting handshake or a hug, or even kisses on the cheek when communing was once normal, we have quickly un-learned this gesture, now seeing it as a potential threat. Our very DNA is being challenged to un-learn our genetic need for love and belonging.
While I graciously don’t believe that we will ever unlearn our need for love and belonging, what I do see happening with this lack of human connection is people being forced into some form of darkness. Without this need being met, we are being directed to go inward and take a look deep within ourselves. It is in here where the build up of buried and hidden emotions and uncomfortable conditionings are contained.
Isolation is just one of many reasons we are not so easily able to bypass the shadows that we carry inside of us. Not only is there a huge collective energy that wants to force us out of our normal human behaviour, but there is also much less ability to escape from the difficult feelings that arise as a bi-product. I have seen a lot of people in my community struggle with some very difficult emotions over this past year. Without the normal amount of distractions, one’s shadow side has a tendency to come out. This is not easy work to face. I know I have faced my shadow a few of times this year and it’s been down right f#cking hard.
Shadow pieces are typically old traumas and woulds from our childhood that we have pushed down and in many cases are actually trapped in our nervous system. They are wounds so deeply ingrained in us that we actually don’t know how to do life without them. In a lot of cases they leave behind a belief with a residue that we are somehow unworthy or unable. It takes true effort and reprogramming to unlearn the ineffective behaviours behind these wounds. This is not just to reprogram the symptoms that can show up as things like excessive drinking, over eating or choosing destructive relationships (to name a few) but to unlearn that we have limited potential and that we are unworthy of unconditional love. The old, outdated pathway needs to be un-learned so that the possibility of a new understanding can take place. This takes work and a willingness to truly look at oneself and grow.
With many 2020 shadows being faced, there has been a lot of un-learning happening for many people, and I for one think it is the most spectacular thing to witness and to experience. The un-learned will look different for everyone, but the outcome is quite the same. The potential of an incredibly powerful, collaborative and cohesive society is what lies beneath all of our ineffective behaviour patterns. A world that works in harmony and equality, where we truly value the lives of all living things, including our precious planet.
In one of the hardest years I have ever lived, this potential has been brought into my view and it’s absolutely beautiful. While large portions of the world are shutting down, and my very own personal foundation is crumbling, I have still managed to gain sight of an absolutely incredible future in front of us … and I know I’m not the only one.
I know this article is titled lessons for 2020, and it seems as though I have not given you any, so I encourage you to take a deep dive inwards and see if you can learn about your own patterns and conditioning with the understanding that nothing is really as it seems. Despite the fact that we live in a world where our choices seem somewhat limited, I promise you, if you choose to use your inner resources you may find that your potential is actually unlimited. If that isn’t a lesson for 2020 I don’t know what is.