My Life’s Mission – Lessons Learned in 2020

My Life’s Mission – Lessons Learned in 2020

Lessons Learned about Life's Mission
The afterglow of presenting a Cultural Competency session

What lessons did you learn in 2020?

There are so many lessons I learned. While I already knew I was an empath, I really had to learn how to combine self-care with fulfilling my life’s mission.

My mission is helping others understand and appreciate people who are different.

My mission is also to take the sting out of being different.

When we embrace our own differences, we can allow others to be their kind of different. And with all those different differences, there’s such a thing as politics with integrity.

In other words, politics with integrity happens when we abide by the 4R’s as suggested by Kate Berardo, Darla K. Deardorff, and Fons Trompenaars in the book “Building Cultural Competence: Innovative Activities and Models.”

The 4R’s of Cultural Competence and Appreciation are:

1. Recognition (How competent is a person to recognize cultural differences around him or her?)

2. Respect (How respectful is a person about those differences?)

3. Reconciliation (How competent is a person to reconcile cultural differences?)

4. Realization (How competent is a person to realize the necessary actions to implement the reconciliation of cultural differences?)

So back to my first question, what lessons did YOU learn in 2020? I really do want to know!

21 thoughts on “My Life’s Mission – Lessons Learned in 2020

  1. Lessons learned in 2020:
    • Patience with myself, with others, and allowing for and quickly processing unexpected chaos, turbulence, and distraction.
    • Resilience and fortitude in facing tests and overcoming obstacles I set for myself.
    • Letting go of everything out of my control and not trying to control what is not mine to control.
    • Shifting away from PUSH to make things happen to REVEAL of what IS happening.

    Thoughts on Life’s mission
    Throughout the year I saw in myself shifting to and deepening purpose of helping people to achieve a state of a balance and synthesis of opposites, divergences, and divisions.

    Reflections on the 4rs of cultural competency:

    • I really appreciate the 4Rs as qualifiers to define and determine THE key skills that we’ve just come of out four years of a complete LACKING and absence.
    • The 2nd R of Respect I think is absolutely critical and to me the one that most resonates as a fundamental starting place for new levels of relationship with not only each other but of the world, of nature, of ourselves.

    1. Dear Paul, I appreciate you taking the time to thoughtfully respond. As you well know I so believe that sharing equals learning and helping each other in this struggle/challenge called life.

  2. I love this question!
    Here’s a little of what I learned in 2020:
    Even if delayed, the things I really want will come to fruition.
    I am a woman in her 50s finally earning my bachelor’s degree. I can afford to do this without working full-time because I spent a lot of time building savings and working on various revenue streams that have now paid off.

    Not all setbacks are bad.
    I have embraced the shelter-in-place lifestyle by taking time to love on my personal space. I have become an avid houseplant and succulent gardener, encouraged by free cuttings from my neighbors.

    Naps are the best thing ever invented.
    When procrastination on doing a school assignment, I can find myself doomscrolling and getting overwhelmed. I finally realized that laying down and closing my eyes for 20 minutes can be the most soothing thing I could do for myself.

    1. And I love your response, Kenna! I can relate to everything you’ve listed. But most importantly, even though I’m reading this a little bit before 8 PM, Pacific Time, it’s time for a 20-minute nap so I can complete the other things I’ve set out to do. Thank you for the reminder!

  3. Lessons learned in 2020:

    *put myself first – I have to put my mask on first before I can help others.
    *breathe
    *tell people what you want and need to tell them in the moment

  4. Lessons learned in 2020: 1. Put myself first – I have to put my mask on first before I can help others. 2. Breathe 3. Tell people what you want and need to tell them in the moment

    1. I agree with you, Carol – putting yourself first is important. As you well know, you really can’t help others if you’ve not helped yourself.

      And COVID-19 has certainly shown us that breathing is underrated and undervalued. There are only a few things more precious than breath.

      And your #3 is something a lot of us took for granted pre-2020. It’s important to reach out to folks when we think of them.

      Here’s to being safe, breathing, and loving in 2021!

  5. Lessons learned in 2020?
    First, don’t sweat the small stuff when there are so much larger issues of injustice and need in the world. I am sobered by the extent of losses in 2020-over 400,000 lives-more than WWII, 9-11, and Vietnam crises.

    Likewise, since I am a believer in the holy power of God as Creator and transcendent spirit guardian, I count my blessings for each day I awake and retire to bed while fully realizing that I’m no more meritorious or deserving of God’s blessings than the next person.

    Third, being isolated from most of my family and friends, I value the communication of voice, the laughter, and time made to share in conversation for reminders of the preciousness of relationship – it’s not about the gifts, the accolades, or material accumulation but the verbal hugs and kudos to keep one another encouraged and sane until we can hug and kiss in person.

    Fourth, I am one of the fortunate ones with a job, as I teach, meet, and pastor virtually. I appreciate the time that my students take to pursue their studies amid this pandemic. I am attuned to the hopeful presence of church members who seek spiritual solace to make sense of this chaos.

    So I give thanks for the opportunity to serve in these capacities and earn a basic living while doing so. Last but not least, I say “a basic living” because my ambition to climb those proverbial career ladders for notoriety or scads of money is now tempered by my maturity and thankful realization that I have enough to live on.

    So I focus on doing what I love to bring others joy or to facilitate their agency to hope and to push forward with purpose. 2020 affirmed for me a long-time commitment to remain open to whatever God has for me to do . . . I’ll never be Oprah, but no one else will ever be Valerie Alice Miles-Tribble, born a little black girl in the ghetto of West Philly, descendant of slaves in Virginia and Maryland, and nurtured by parents and teachers to pursue my dreams. ..”for there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it” (to borrow from the brilliantly gifted young 2021 Inaugural poet laureate, Amanda Gorman).

    That sums up my mission: keep living, learning, and loving this adventure called life.

    1. Rev. Dr. Val, there are so many juicy kernels of truth, light, and love here. I so appreciate your message.

  6. Some of the lessons learned in 2020:
    • Learning how to work with my anxiety instead of against it. I read the work of Sheryl Paul, a depth psychologist, who writes that anxiety carries its own wisdom. If we learn to intentionally listen, it can guide us in our healing. Psyche often reveals its truths through emotional, psychological, and physical symptoms.
    • Making decisions from a place of groundedness and centeredness and learning to not be swayed by others’ opinions and thoughts.
    • Being kind and patient with myself and others during rough patches, and trusting the process that things will fall into place how they should.

    My life’s mission:
    Supporting children to realize their full potential by creating liberating spaces for them to learn and grow. Increasing cultural competency in the profession of teaching.

    1. Sana, I was particularly struck by “Psyche often reveals its truths through emotional, psychological, and physical symptoms.”

      From my own personal experience, I’ve learned about the revelation of truths are also paired with intentional listening to self. Some, like myself, are skilled at listening to others while neglecting to hear the rhythms within.

  7. 2020 confirmed that one person can truly change the world. Good or bad. Whether you are MLK Jr. or Donald Trump, one person should they choose can be impactful.
    I I choose for the rest of my life to do the same thing.

    1. Fred, I so agree about the impact one person can have. I used to think it worked only for the good.

      Interestingly, it was the late Larry King who piqued my interest. In 2019, he was a guest being interviewed about manifesting your thoughts and dreams.

      He cautioned the host interviewer that manifesting techniques can be used for evil. He also hinted at DJT was a master at manifesting.

      I also agree that you and I can use our powers for good to impact positive change in our worlds.

  8. It’s really ok not to finish things. Since the consequences are mine, so are the decisions.
    Some of my greatest “aha” moments start with an “oh crap” moment. I can get to the aha if I’m willing to wade through the crap.
    Self care is not selfish and I am responsible for what that looks like for me!

  9. My lesson from 2020 is that good happens in the midst of catastrophe!

    A rogue president who attempted to turn this country into a dictatorship was told, “no.” Take your Russian loyalties, bigotry, and lies—and leave.
    A pandemic that took so much from us (lives, loved ones, together time) also gave us forced introspection, reality checks on what is truly important in life. And the largest gift was in reminding us that we can persevere and find new ways of living and doing business. We heard birds sing again. Monarch butterflies returned, The Canal in Venice no longer looked like a swamp. The Universe spoke to us about cleansing—more than just our hands, but our hearts and minds.

  10. One lesson that I relearned is, radical acceptance. There is so much in the world that we can not control. Acknowledging those things allows us to focus our attention on the choices and options we do have. As they say in 12 step programs, sometimes you need to surrender to win

    1. Noel, I was really struck by sometimes needing to surrender to win. I’ve seen how it works, but it’s so so hard to do sometimes.

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