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5 Lessons 2020 Taught Me

Each of us is a forest. A life of one person is never solely their own. A person’s life is indeed shaped by their perceptions but also by the winds and rain that blow wet on their path, the mirrors shown them by various intersections of events and the (welcome or unwelcome) people that inhabit a space in their story. Never before has my life been a shared space as it was in 2020.

In this poetic exercise that started three years ago to prune out of the lushness of one year the lessons that filled my basket with the juiciest fruits, I hoped to expand on this sacred art of sharing. Because what can be a simple life lived by one can become a balm, a succour, an emissary for another in the act of sharing. As the great artist Giacometti once said about his art, “All the critics spoke about the metaphysical content or the poetic message of my work. But for me it is nothing of the sort. It is a purely optical exercise.

Some will say 2020 was a nightmare, others say it’s been the best year of their life. For me it was a landscape that had deserts and valleys adorned with flowers, emerald green rivers and swamps, some deep scary gorges under the firmament of sun and stars.

My prayer is that we remember that a landscape has everything in it and when we travel together our different perspectives enrich what we call truth and what we understand as love. Following are the 5 lessons that 2020 sought to teach me.

Dare to be too much

After a process of sifting through words and their energies, diving into the well of my inner cosmos and drawing out the one that was handed back to me by my inner goddess, ‘dare’ was the one word I chose to be my guide in 2020. Here’s what I wrote in January:


Dare to ask for what you need, dare to be needy, dare to want more, dare to want what you want.

Dare to try, dare to fail, dare to be in doubt, dare to despair.

Dare to make mistakes, dare to be the fool, dare to risk it all.


Dare to not know, dare to ask for help, dare to be empty, dare to be confused, dare to be guided, dare to surrender to what you don’t know and don’t accept.

Dare to give up, dare to let it go, dare to come out of commitments that are not aligned with you anymore.


Dare to be loved, dare to be appreciated, dare to be at awe, dare to take your time, dare to celebrate who you are.


Daring has become, rather than a heroic act of conquering fears and doing the extraordinary, a quiet way of placing one foot in front of the other as I traversed the labyrinth of 2020.

These words fell onto my heart like little round dew drops praying for the earth to take them whole. Each one of these invitations to dare was shaped by a year that called all of us to care more than we’ve been accustomed to, perhaps more than we thought we’re capable of.

I’ve never taken any interest in reading the newspaper or listening to the news, learning about the world’s calamities from my surroundings. At the outbreak of Covid-19 the scientific side of my brain launched into reading articles and listening to reports that covered anything around the history of pandemics, immunology and virology, politics and trends in evolution. I found that the most painful daring of them all was the one that calls us to be aware.