2020: The Year of Redefinition

Who is the new You facing 2021? What are your lessons?

5 min readDec 31, 2020


Photo by Fabian Kühne on Unsplash

I’m writing this with a reference to C.G. Jung’s concept of collective unconscious. The collective unconscious is — to put it in plain English — the archetypal way we humans behave. This influences how we go through archetypal events such as birth, relationship, mating, illness, death, etc. When a world event is ongoing, we could see how the collective unconscious is recognized worldwide. In order to grow as an individual, we need to consciously derive meaning from the collective behavior and make conscious efforts to not to be lost in the push and pull of the collective energy.

The very noticeable collective unconscious that we face in 2020 is the crisis and panic caused by the pandemic. Humans everywhere responds to it differently, but with a clear pattern. Some of them are shrinking/separating, some of them are growing/connecting.

The shrinkers/separators:

  • those who deny the pandemic and call it conspiracy theory;
  • those who find profits from panicking fellow humans;
  • those who find a platform to show grandiose as if they’re heroes;
  • those who choose to stir up the panic into a greater crisis…

The growers/connectors:

  • those who dedicate themselves in the healing of fellow humans, from medical teams working in the center of the pandemic, mental health professionals helping those affected mentally by the crisis, social workers helping those affected financially by the crisis;
  • those whose expertise is very needed in this situation and decide to give back to the society;
  • those who respond to physical distancing by staying within and finding so many sources of inner growth;
  • those who see that the crisis shows how privileged they are that they decide to give more than before the crisis…

The conscious members of the human species find it a no brainer that the pandemic has forced us to face what needs to change in our life. It’s the part of our life that hasn’t gotten enough attention pre-2020 and now it’s asking us to be changed in a deconstructive way that it redefines who we are collectively as a species. Each of us also has individual challenges and those who don’t take the personal challenges are — to put it simply — losers.

Even though we’re trying hard to face our individual challenges, there are people around us who are the shrinkers/separators, who resist so hard answering the knocks on the door calling us to change. This could distract us from attending the required journey toward redefining our Self, depending on how close our relationships with those people are. And it gets more difficult for those who weren’t prepared to be conscious of the collective behavior.

I remember saying to a former colleague, “If it’s not the virus, it’s something else”. Everyone would / does / did face something in 2020. So many families are grieving upon losing their loved ones (some have multiple members of the family) to the virus. So many families are dealing with changes in financial situations due to lagging economy and lost jobs. So many families are facing collective mental health issues that distract their wellbeing as a family. The family issues are part of the individual challenges that we have to face.

It’s so clear that the push and pull forces of the collective unconscious is asking us to look within, from the biggest circle to the smallest: our Self. If we were a prime minister or president, it could be our nation. If we were a CEO, it could be our organization. If we were a team leader, it could be our team wellbeing. If we were a business owner, it could be our business direction. If we were a family caretaker, it could be our family wellbeing. And since all of us are humans, it could be our inner work waiting for us to take care of it.

Our relationships with each other are directly affected by how well we handle our inner work. Taking care of one’s Self as a member of the human species already brings many consequences. We could redefine our role in society, our ways of being, and how we see each other. Looking at us as inhabitants of the earth could redefine our role in taking care of the planet. Looking at us as spiritual creatures could redefine our ways of looking at life, increasing our consciousness toward purposeful living.

Once we take care of our Self and relationships, we can shift our perspectives higher and find lessons from the collective panic and crisis. That’s when we became aware that indeed, we’re so blessed.

It could be that we could finally attend to our garden or pets. It could be that we became closer to our loved ones. It could be that we became aware of a relationship that we didn’t deserve. It could be that we became aware of a career or business direction that doesn’t help us grow. It could be that we have more savings. It could be that we learn more from each other for better ways in the future.

Until last year, we didn’t have the time to nurture those divine-sent blessings because of the turbulence. It’s still fresh in our memory the polarization that almost took multiple nations apart, induced by identity-politics that happened in the past 5 years. The collective unconscious back then was profound: insecurity and hatred.

This year, many of us chose to float along from the previous unconsciousness to the current one. They chose to follow the collective panic by adding to instead of reducing the crisis. They refused to look within and would rather blame others for the panic and crisis they’ve encountered. They are the losers and those who are unable to swim through the pull and push forces of the collective panic and crisis. I saw some of them in my closest circle.

I am a witness of how the shrinkers and the separators used the crisis to their advantage. They took the losers and the panicking ones as their prey. They are the darkest of humanity that I’ve seen in the crisis. It never came to my mind that something so dark could happen in front of my eyes. It could be the darkest of humanity that I would ever seen in my life.

This crisis needed to happen. I’m thankful of its role in connecting me with those (new and old) who have helped me in my 2020 journey. I’m thankful for how it has helped me redefining my Self, relationships, and purpose in life.

I hope you could see your blessings, too, despite the painful and difficult situations we have gone through this year. They say we’re all in the same storm but not on the same boats. The fact that I’m still here, writing here, having food, shelter, loved ones I could reach physically means I really have no reason not to be thankful.

Goodbye 2020.