2020 – A year in the life of Peace and Chaos

If 2020 taught us anything, it is that life is chaos.

In January 2020, we noticed something bizarre starting in Wuhan and we watched as the dominoes starting falling.

After the Australian bushfires of 2019-20, there seemed to be nothing that could top that kind of chaos, until there was:

The COVID-19 pandemic.

We have had pandemics before, but none in my lifetime so far that have made the world seem both more connected (globalisation) and disconnected (a system gone awry and families split apart).

To say it is strange to witness the tailspin reaching areas we are yet to see or know, from the downfall of economies to the personal and global impacts of social isolation, is an understatement.

It isn’t as if we have not had situations like this – no doubt 9/11 changed our world – but this feels new and unknown.

How will it impact us? What kind of life will we be living in 10 years time as a result of this? How can we navigate and thrive through it?

“In chaos, there is fertility.”

Anais Nin

Back to the idea of chaos.

Far too often I hear so many of us saying, “When things settle down, I’ll…… (see my friends or family, get fit, eat healthier, feel good, be less anxious, achieve all I hope to, ad infinitum)” when in reality, disorder and chaos or interruption and uncertainty, dare I sound naive, are certain.

It seems to have taken me a case of perinatal anxiety, depression and panic disorder, followed by floods, drought, bush fires, and a pandemic to find a deeper sense of peace than ever before.

Over many therapy sessions, navigating the waves of inner anxieties to external disasters or disorders, and learning to not just act in alignment with my values but be galvanised to do so, I have felt more acceptance and determination, which isn’t to say indifference, but quite the opposite.

To be all I hope to be, to experience life in all its fullness, means experiencing a spectrum of chaos and disorder both in the inner world and external world. I can blame anything for my suffering, but action towards my values makes a difference. That’s one lesson I’ll take.

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.

Sun Tzu

2020 is a teacher, a wild one, a hard one.

May we each thrive beyond 2020 and stick together through whatever is yet to come. That’s the best we can do, right?

In chaos there is a cosmos, in disorder a secret order.

Carl Jung

Some highlights from 2020 below.

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