hand holding flowers

Creating a sanctuary in the midst of chaos

With the immensity of 2020 flipping its pages to the end, we look at how we managed to hold space for being, for living and for feeling during such a challenging period of our modern times.

I’m sitting in my chair, by the window. It’s dark outside and the warm light that lingers around the room deepens the silence of the evening. There’s a sense of sweetness and coziness that joins my slow breathing. It feels good to be home, but most of all, it feels safe.

I look around the house, I’m surrounded by books and greenery. All the life that these bring is like a badge of trust and inspiration that was given to me by the words, the stories written in the pages on the shelves, by the green gold that runs through these plants I so happily have been caring for.

Somehow, the chaos and the darkness from beyond these walls have pushed us towards looking closer to ourselves and creating a sanctuary for our spirits to survive. It lays deep in our human nature to fight for survival, no matter how that translates to each individual.

Stuck. Sheltered. Or both?

A manner of perception, staying at home for such a big part of this year has, indeed, shaped very different experiences for each one of us, but so very similar at the same time.

We all felt different sorts of fear at some point. We all felt the power of our love for life and for the people that matter to us, more than it ever did. We all faced some form of loss and grief. We all needed the embrace of someone at some point. We all felt alone and sad. We all looked for a ray of hope in the most random things. We all were and still are in this together.

On one end, it was feeling stuck inside the house, far away from the life we knew before, struggling with our mental and physical health, separated from friends, family and any social events – all this became a battle we haven’t voluntarily enrolled in, more like a blind battle that we didn’t know how to fight.

We became so caught up in this whirlpool of emotional baggage and mixed information coming from all over the place, that finding clarity, stability and a sense of security was even tougher than the battle itself.

At times, the question “Is this a punishment?” passed through. But a punishment for what? Just like many other questions that left us wondering, with no clear answer in sight.

However, there were also questions asked that opened a whole new layer of perception, going deeper and closer to our spirit and reason for being.

Among all the big ideas of 2020, we learned that the only way out of this mess is honoring the way in, which has consequently unfolded through this given time.

To find shelter within ourselves doesn’t necessarily mean closing down the world outside, completely oblivious of our surroundings. It means we create mechanisms of self-reliance and trust to help us deal with whatever comes our way, to fight that battle and keep standing.

Much of our physical mobility in space has shifted in ways we only knew how to deal with painful awkwardness, compromise, endearing consolation, overly hopeful reassurance. It has, however, placed us face to face to a softer side of us, to a more vulnerable love speech towards each other. And isn’t that a beautiful thing?

From the nest (,) above the skies

Creating a haven within our means, that safely encapsulates all our emotions, our yearnings, our thoughts and lines of living, is nothing less than our humanly response to a troubled world that’s deeply rooted in our nature to not only fight for survival, but reach for beauty, light and love. It’s like a magical laboratory where we become the artists of our own story.

Look at all the oeuvres d’art that were created amid times of war, of poverty, of social instability. Look at all the things that became things from nothing. Look at all the phoenixes that learn to fly again. Look at every single time you rose from your own depths of darkness into the most uplifting light. The natural instinct of becoming. 

Beyond the beauty of the outside world we so desperately crave right now, there’s a whole universe of wonder and unexplored nature inside our own existence. And if there’s a light in all this darkness, it’s surely flickering like crazy within our souls, ready to burst into stardom. Only a match away.

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