December 31

All you need is love?

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All you need is love?

This year is over, a collective sigh of relief echoes across the world (can an sigh echo?).  

And while we hope for a better 2021, let’s be realistic and realize that the only person that can make 2021 better is YOU

So what do you need to do?

  • Mask up - even if you don’t believe it works, or you feel silly, or [insert an excuse here]?  Remember, while you can make a better 2021 it’s not all about you.
  • Socially distance – even if you planned to enter 2021 swinging (no we don’t, ye…).  While I may miss the spontaneous embraces that often made my day, life is far more precious.  And unlike some true catastrophizers (of which I hold a masters) I do believe that this too shall pass.

But most important of all is remembering to love yourself first by treasuring your health, both mental and physical.  Make peace with your imperfections (of which 99.9% are perceptions) and realize that sometimes railing against the system is a strategy that still considers a cost/benefit ratio.  At the moment most of the “civil liberties” discourse (an American cultural appropriation) feels like a sheeple response that does not factor in the personal benefit of staying healthy.  

Are our politicians hypocrites, and at times overreaching in their power?  Of course, but that is the nature of the ALL politicians (not just the “Black” ones that seem to drive some “White” hysteria), but how does rebelling against these rules help keep you safe?  Shout, scream, stand on your Facebook/Twitter soapbox to rail against abuses but when you leave the house put on that damn mask.

How about our neighbours (even Karen)?  We’re exhorted to loving them as ourselves – of course, if you’ve skipped the part on loving yourself you can skip this one too because the one needs the other.  To love our neighbours, being careful not to covet them, means in part that we need to take actions that promote and preserve THEIR health, both mental and physical.  That mask and arms length distance (or 1.5m whichever is the longer) is your fulfillment of this exhortation.  And here’s a tip – smiles do reach your eyes if you truly mean it so a mask, if worn properly, only covers that part of the smile that’s the easiest to fake.

Rounding off the trinity, the final exhortation that is the first, but is the last because it cannot be without the other 2, one that has got lost in all priorities.  And here, I am careful, for no particular reason, other than to recognize God’s omniculturalism (and, it is a word which I’ve only just discovered as I googled it as an option), to not limit my use of the name God.  Loving God has always been about loving ourselves (first) and our neighbours (second) with everything that we have to give – shortchanging either is shortchanging God – and in the spirit of my trinity, while there is a first and a second, in truth when practiced with conscious intent are both simultaneous, multiversal and infinite.  It is this aspirational construct that has to supplant some narratives that prefer magical thinking over practicality – God looks after those who look after themselves, and their neighbours.

Humanity only gets stronger if we face these challenges by having everyone’s back – and it all starts with YOU making a choice.

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About the Author

Shane Ward is a Certified ADHD Life Coach offering support and accountability to those of us who sometimes think and behave differently to what the rest of society would prefer. He identifies as Neurodivergent, ADHD, Agitator, Protector of the Underdog, GDB, and recovered alcoholic.


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