2021 Reflections….

2021 was a year of life lessons for everyone out there – lessons on preciousness of life, on blessings from unexpected corners, and on the importance of resilience. It wasn’t too different for me, just perhaps a little more eye-opening because of the new friendships made and the things they enabled directly and indirectly. 2021 did leave behind a ton of reflections, some of which are shared below;

Reflection 1 :

Healing is never linear nor standard nor quick. Sometimes it feels done and dusted only to have one drown in tears the next moment, it was in the year 2021 I realized this is totally ok. Because, there is no timeline to healing. Having said that, healing has to happen though, for one’s own good and cheers to 2021 for helping me mindfully embark on my healing journey.

When I knew I wasn’t alone as a suicide loss survivor, tremendous healing kicked in! I am grateful to 2021 for enabling the long due healing through Dr Nandini and her book!

Reflection 2 :

2020 had trained my eyes to notice the beauty just outside my window and 2021 went a step further and emphasized how Nature is the best remedy there is! When everything else fails, just looking out was all that was needed to help me get back to, possibly, my best self, in a way. As I was becoming better at birding, I was getting better at my painting and today I am known in my circles as a bird photographer and as an artist, but without the inspiration from Mother Nature, I would be neither. There is absolute magic in nature, and I am glad I was able to soak up in a lot of that magic in 2021.

The flowers and butterflies here might have been exaggerated, but not one bird is! I tried to bring out their true beauty my stain glass painting way, but the fact remains that all of them are even more colorful and glorious in real.

Reflection 3 :

If there is one thing COVID and the ensuing lockdowns taught, it was to take it one day at a time. A lot of things went out the window – the rulebook on how to live one’s life was the first to be out. The only valid rule today (and possibly for every day, here on) is to live and love in this very moment, for all we know it could be the last! This was the year when all of us lost someone we knew to the deadly virus. 2021 had everyday reminders on how fragile life is and all we could do during many such moments is to hope and pray fervently.

Reflection 4 :

I did not realise until recently how powerful a written word is! It, clearly, has the capability to travel far and wide, through lands and oceans, and has the might to move the hardest of resolves and melt the coldest of hearts. Today I know of this power and that’s what is pushing me to write every single day, without worrying too much about who reads my stuff and what the reach is. 2021 hence got me writing a lot and enabled a lot of healing while at it.

The message I received from one of my long lost contacts after that person read my blog On Surviving Suicide Loss. This message and the ensuing phone call did end up moving my heart and soul.

Reflection 5 :

When one’s heart and soul is poured into something, anything, miracles come to being, I learnt. Because, it was true love for certain things which got me feeling alive, even in those dreadful days filled with several doomsworthy thoughts. In 2021, I found love in unexpected places, in my art and in a dog that sleeps in streets. Might sound strange, but they meant a lot to me, especially when I was dealing with anxieties and fears induced by the invisible enemy.

This art work and the ensuing colorful shadows they left behind made me feel a little more alive and hence, this is my best reflection of 2021, no pun intended!
Donna, the dog that made me love animals more in 2021. It’s in missing her unconditional love, I went ahead and shared the love I had for her with other little beings around. She truly means a lot to me.

Reflection 6 :

I spent more alone days in 2021 than any other time in my life. Being an extrovert, I first assumed being locked up indoors for months together is going to be tough. Thankfully, I was wrong, solitude, I came to realise is quite under-rated. Being alone, teaches one more about oneself than any wise teacher could. Alone-ness should not be feared, for when it’s embraced, it opens up things about ourselves which we did not know existed.

Reflection 7 :

You never know who could be your next friend, but when you express loudly and passionately the stuff that moves your heart, you are for sure going to attract some good people into your life. 2021 gave me some really good friends worth keeping. And they came at the right time from unexpected places.

The beautiful friendship I made with this group in 2021 is worth a reflection. I met them serendipitously through my bird photos and was requested to do a paid bird walking tour. We decided to keep the friendship going after the very first meet itself!

Reflection 8 :

Human spirit is stronger than anything else in this world. The sheer will gets us through worst of times, all while making the best of circumstances. We might stumble and fumble, but the might of our spirit pushes us and ensures we make it out alive, literally and figuratively!

Reflection 9 :

No two person is the same. Competition is sometimes over rated. Many times we don’t realize we are competing even. It’s upto us if we want to continue being in a rat race knowing we are in it or getting out of it. For all you know the person you are jealous of would have more demons to deal with than yourself.

Reflection 10 :

And most importantly, when times are tough, learn to be mindfully kind. Because when all this ends and we look back, we will only remember how we were to each other. Let’s choose to leave behind good memories. While I was at the receiving end of many an unplesant stuff people did, I am also guilty of some messy fights myself. Hope to have less of such unnecessary drama going forward, especially when we have all learnt by now how short life really is. I think letting go is the only way to go, here on.

As we tentatively step into 2022, let’s not forget the lessons 2021 taught us, as we hope and pray for a life of normalcy. May 2022 be easy on us and on our loved ones!


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