By Abbey Friedline
I think for a lot of us, this year has looked vastly different than what we thought we were signing up for or could have even imagined. Back in January I really wanted to set goals and chase crazy dreams for the New Year. But for some reason, I just could not establish targets for myself, which is so abnormal for me.
So I followed Becky’s lead, and just wrote a letter to 2020. It felt softer and more flexible, which I needed in that season. I want to share a portion of it with you… whether for insight, connection, or maybe just a good laugh.
To be honest, I don’t know what to expect from you. And that’s both frightening and beautiful. I feel like I’m standing in front of a vast ocean – overwhelmingly big that could swallow me whole; yet, breathtaking and inspiring and with endless possibilities.
So I want to learn to adapt. I need to choose to go with the flow, to be interruptible. I expect great things from us, but I don’t have any degree of clear vision on what that looks like. It’s as if I’m continuing a journey that I’ve been on, but just took a turn I’m unfamiliar with and it’s a bit foggy outside. The GPS is still going (aka Jesus is still determining my steps) so I don’t quite feel lost, but it’s all so unfamiliar.
I know it will be beautiful, after all I’ve been training myself to find the beauty in every day. But it feels so fuzzy. Almost like waiting for a picture to come into focus. There are outlines, but the photo is blurry. It’s obvious the picture is of something joyful and exciting, but it’s not quite clear yet.”
Man, has this proven true—almost to the point of being laughable!! This covid season has been both frightening and beautiful; overwhelmingly big and also inspiring. I have DEFINITELY been able to practice being flexible and adaptable! Everything feels unfamiliar and nothing normal. I’ve had to intentionally search for beautiful things in every day.
I was very frustrated when the year began, feeling like I couldn’t really nail down a plan or set goals. I thought the way things felt so unclear meant I was doing something wrong. Many of the personal development leaders I follow had so much intentionality and clear direction and I felt like I was missing something. (Now it seems obvious… I was just predicting the future! I kid, I kid.)
But then I decided to lean into it, try to embrace the unknown. And truly, looking back, I think that was completely God’s protection over my mental space. Had I had a strict plan or idea of the year, and had it been derailed, I would have struggled hard to let that go.
I went on in the letter to establish the things I can control. And turns out, those are still true and still my focus.
“There’s a lot I don’t know. But here is what I do know: I will work to be present in the moments of the day, to connect and be mindful, not just in review of the day, but exactly where my feet are. I am going to continue to learn, to grow, to improve, to humble. I will focus on losing the weight of other peoples’ opinions.”
I don’t know where this season has you, friend. Whether you’re embracing the slow, making the most of the moments, or crumbling under the pressure of finances, work, e-learning, and feeling stuck. Either way, in this season, try focusing on what you CAN control, what you do KNOW for certain. There is a reason behind it, a lesson in it, and beauty beyond it. Let go of your strict expectations of yourself, your loved ones, and this season. Embrace it for what it is, and flow with it as much as possible. Let go of the grip on what could and should. There’s a freedom in that.