These days, we all seem to have more time on our hands to reflect upon our lives. What are those things we really miss? Who is really important to us? How will we carry what we’ve learned these past several weeks to make our lives more fulfilling, happier? We may also be reflecting upon the past–what we may have done wrong; how we may have hurt someone; how we may have a substantial amount of guilt or shame about our behaviors. But, if we look at the totality of our lives and all we have lived, I’ll bet those periods of regret are not as big as they seem. If we look at our lives from the long view, we know that we have been on a journey–the biggest part of it is understanding ourselves and our personal life’s purpose. Everything that has happened in your life has led you to a deeper understanding of who you are. Instead of criticizing yourself when you look back, how about looking at your past with loving eyes? See that each step on your journey was sacred. You know now that you live in the present–that’s the only thing any of us really has or has ever had–and the pandemic reminds us of that continually. Be intentional about your day. Decide what it is that makes you happy and incorporate that in it, as much as possible. Continue to check-in on how you are feeling. Your feelings are the barometer that tells you what your energy level is. If it is low, what can you do to change it? Pet the dog? Go for a walk? Play with your children? Cook your favorite food? Whatever it is, you are the only one that knows intimately how to bring your energy to a higher level. In our society, we are taught to put others first and to love and forgive them. The biggest secret of all is that we need to love ourselves unconditionally before we can do that for anyone else. When you feel your energy getting low, take a moment and put your hand over your heart, breathe deeply and send loving thoughts to your heart. Practice showing the same amount of love, kindness and forgiveness that you show to others, to yourself. It is truly the most important gift you can give–and the one that keeps on giving.

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