This holiday season carries a particular and unique poignancy, one I don’t ever remember experiencing and am quite sure I will never forget.  No one can question the insanity, upheaval and confusion we have all experienced in 2020, and somehow we have made it to year’s end and the holidays.  I have always loved the holidays but this year, I approach them on my knees, filled with something like humility and awe. I am changed by 2020, as we all are. Something within me broke this year and simultaneously healed.
As I breathe, I am grateful for my body’s ability to take in life-giving oxygen.  As I wrap gifts for family and friends, I give thanks that I am able to do this, as I sit safely in my warm house. As I breathe, I am conscious of my body’s ability to take in life-giving oxygen. As I walk and do yoga, I give thanks that I am well and healthy and able to exercise my body.   As I think about making dinner, I make a donation to Feeding America.  I will never take food for granted again. I will never take others, my body, my health and my safety for granted again.
As I watch the news, and as the counting of the elector's votes was confirmed, and yet still disputed by our mad King trump, I will never take democracy for granted again. I am profoundly grateful that I live in a country where I can vote, and my vote counts.
Yes, I miss my friends and family members I haven’t seen in far too long. I miss them terribly.  It has been a long, hard year for all of us. But overwhelmingly, these last days of 2020, I am struck, over and over and over, by how blessed I am, and I am humbled by that.  I appreciate my friends and family more and more every day. I see them differently now.
And there is the unfathomable loss of life that continues unabated at this point; all of those souls, beloved by others, who are no longer with us. I will never take the lives of those I care about for granted ever again. I will honor each passing of a stranger as I would a friend or family member.  I will honor my own life.
In all of the crazy occurring around us, I can’t help but wonder if maybe we have somehow missed the point.  This is not what has divided us, this crazy year.  We were already divided in our never-ending search for finding that *thing* that makes us better than someone else.  Rich or poor, white or black or Hispanic, Christian or not, whatever the disparity, whatever the criteria, it was never ever about that. We have acted as children with a glittering bauble dangling before us, ever so slightly out of our grasp and certain that it belongs only to *me*.  A certain tunnel vision has gripped us for generations, allowing us to see only what is directly in front of us and now all of that has been stripped away, exposing our entire and unappealing underbelly.
This year came to show us that under the smoke and mirrors and dangling glittery objects, we are all the same.  Covid can kill all of us.  No one is exempt from any of the disasters that have beset us in 2020. No one is better than anyone one else. Money or color or religion or politics doesn’t make anyone better than another.  We are all the same.
Here’s to all who arose, awoke, who opened eyes and hearts, who reached hands out to another.  Here’s to those who sacrificed and gave and gave and gave.  Here’s to those who stood tall and spoke up for justice.  Here’s to those on the front lines of hospitals, fires, storm damage,    natural disasters and social unrest to keep others safe. Here’s to those whose hearts shone with light and love with every breath.  Here’s to all of us this holiday season at the end of 2020.  May we heal ourselves and this beautiful world upon which we live.  May the Light within our hearts grow ever brighter. May we be guided by the desire for Unity and Peace.
Happy Solstice, Happy Every Blessed Holiday, Happy Return to Oneness!
From the One you came, and unto the One you will return. This simple truth underlies all of existence.  You exist, whether you perceive it or not, within Union.  All will begin to perceive soul before personality in the years to come. Life as you have known it is no more but the Light burns ever brighter.  The New World begins, and you with it.


***This guidance column was written by Jan Finley for It may be shared freely, but only when the author’s name and website are included.