Reflection can be defined as:
- the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it
- a thing that is a consequence of or arises from something else
- serious thought or consideration
- an image seen in a mirror or shiny surface
2020 has been a year ripe for reflection—in all senses of the word.
At the end of a year, many might prefer not to reflect, but it is precisely this eagerness to move on from 2020 as quickly as possible that seems to make the need to reflect even more essential.
When we look at what “reflection” actually means, it’s nice to note that it does not involve absorption; when we look back, we need not absorb the feelings and fears of the last year of new normals, division and disease. However, to refuse reflection in an attempt to forget is to pass up an incredible opportunity to learn, appreciate, and grow.
In some ways, 2020 may very well be perceived as a year of terrible awfuls, but measured by another standard—the standard of life lessons and learnings—it was a year of abundance. May we see the value in looking back without absorbing on a year of significant challenge as well as great learning.
The reflections produced by 2020—the things we will take with us into 2021 and beyond—can also be valuable assets should we allow them to be such. So many things have arisen from this year. It would be foolish not to embrace and explore all of the things brought to our awareness and reflected in the way we live in the coming year.
Perhaps the toughest reflection of 2020 is the third kind: the serious thought and consideration forced upon us all by not only various national and worldly conflicts, but even conflicts within the walls of our own homes and hearts for some.
It is perhaps our own reflection—the image seen staring back at us in the mirror—that has caused us the most challenging “serious thought and consideration.” 2020 has been an ever-present mirror for us, a constant opportunity to look at who we are and how we live, to face our choices—past and present—and confront realities that have always been there, but might have conveniently slipped into the background of our lives.
2020—a year of reflection in so many ways.
But what a gift, though maybe not the one we had imagined. Perhaps this type of gift is “the new normal” after all.