• Thomas Rowland

2020: A Grateful Goodbye

I come to the end of 2020 worn out, disappointed at yet more lockdown and feeling a little let down by, if not angry at, people, politicians, the media and myself. Oh, and an inanimate virus.


And then I read an article by Robin Shohet*:


I think it is not possible to be in attacking energy of any kind and be grateful at the same time. [...] I have come to believe that all hatred is self-hatred, ingeniously projected so we don’t feel it. In this way, we perpetuate it, instead of facing it.


I do not want to perpetuate the suffering of hatred any further, to others or myself. I do not want to be in attacking energy any more.


So, here is my thank you to 2020.

Thank you for severing me from my addictions, the pressures and drives around me, from the compulsions of my modern society, enough to let my ravaged body heal, enough that I had to face the critical, judging and noisy compulsiveness within, enough that I could start to hear the cries of my spirit.


Thank you for rubbing in my face daily the fragility of my life and the life of my loved ones, for teaching me the preciousness of the time I have, and to not waste it, enough that I started things I should have done a long time ago.

Thank you for teaching me just how connected we all are, far more than I dared believe. For teaching me to feel again. Care again. For showing me that I have worn a mask amongst my fellow humans for much longer than several months. For the meetings with new people, and old, which have gone deeper than before and touched our souls.


And, in this interconnectedness, for how little control I have. Thank you for teaching me, slowly and frustratingly, that I could survive what I wasn't in control of, that there is something more grounded within me than the shifting sands of the world I'd taken for granted. Even the strength of the web that connects us all and let's us hold and bless one another, grieve and laugh with one another, as my much as we've striked and cursed, silenced and dismissed.

Thank you for teaching me to be grateful for all the things I'd taken for granted, rather than assuming I had a right to them. Thank you for teaching me the value of all key workers, and the dispensibleness of many of my concerns.


Thank you for showing to me that the human spirit rises when so much is taken away.

May the new normal not exclude these lessons or drown them out again. May I take these lessons with me. Even as I, gratefully, say goodbye.

*https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/thresholds/july-2020/no-life-has-ever-been-saved/


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