• Erica Tatum-Sheade, LCSW

Goodbye To 2020


Goodbye to 2020…


2020 was absolutely a challenging year. Many of us started this year with great hope, and proclaimed that this year was going to be the best year ever… and then we quickly learned that many things were out of our control. We experienced the “Great Reset,” we learned what it meant to be homeschool teachers, and we juggled working from home while staying safe at home. We learned that not all heroes were capes and that some wear medical scrubs. The word “essential” took on new meaning to many of us, and collective cries for justice were heard around the world. We experienced loss and joy and became master bread makers and Tiger King trivia aficionados.



In the Rising Strong process, during the rumble with forgiveness, there is this concept that “something has to die.” This means that before we can move forward and rise strong, something has to be left behind or we have to be willing to let go of it. In order to move forward in our relationships (that have caused hurt to us in the past), we have to let the old relationships – or the old expectations we had of that relationship – die in order to form a new relationship.


The question I have posed to most of my clients over the last few weeks is this: “What are you leaving behind in 2020 that will not serve you in 2021?” One of my favorite therapeutic activities to do with them is the “breakup letter.” We write a letter or choose a word that we need to leave behind in order to move into our wholehearted self.


So on the last day of this year that has been filled with so many twists and turns, I invite you to find a quiet place and write what you will be releasing tonight, whatever it is that you need to leave behind in order to start 2021 with new hope and new expectations to help you start to grow into the best version of you. Take it and release it however you need to. Maybe it’s one word written on a stone you can cast out or a 12-page letter you burn in fire or bury.


It’s a truth of nature that something has to die in order for new to life to grow. The relationship we’ve had with 2020 must come to an end and we must say goodbye in order to walk into 2021 with new eyes and an open mind.


What are you willing to let die in order that your new growth can begin?


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