These times are testing our resolve.

We are called to and called from. Each of us, by walking in our purpose, are moving toward lifting off the shackles of the pain that lives in whatever story we have clung to—that story that has kept us away from being brave, from being bold, from standing in our light. We get to reset everything, now.

We get to bend and break; we get to crash and burn; we get to set fire to, make amends with, plant a tree for whatever has come and whatever will be. We get to till the land and reach for the sky and wash away sins and seek the things that bring us home. We get to be whatever this moment calls for us, and choose the kind of lover we wish to be. We get to choose the kind of love we wish to both give and receive.

And from the seeds of loss and instability, we are growing anew. We are taking all the leftover things love has given us and making a way for our harvest to flourish. The times have changed, but so have we. There is no science, no mathematical equations for how we love, how we show up for each other. There is no algorithm to describe how we are seeing each other for the first time—locking eyes in spaces we thought were no longer allowed to be habituated by human hearts. Nothing here, but love; because everything here is love. We are making love, taking it and replacing it with more love. We are filling each other's cups.

With this, we get to both see and seek love in the littlest, simplest of things, everyday . We are baking bread and breaking it across ponds and oceans and tenements. We are coming together, from a distance. We are finding ways to make a way when we thought there was no way at all. There is a lesson in this stillness—a teachable moment in all of this quiet. There is a truth we can glean some semblance of hope and possibility from. It is hard, yes. It is scary, we know. But, there is love here, too.

Now, more than ever, love will lead the charge; love will show us the way. It is through love that a new path will be forged — love of self, love of others, love for community. Love is our call to action, our viable natural resource. Through it all, love is the constant. All the little things happening in our lives have value — the little heartbreaks, joys, tears, or rainbows. Come to think of it, maybe the little things add up to a really big thing , for everything in our life has value. Slowly, this foggy haze is becoming our friend. We can be with the right now; we can wade and bask in the potential of it all. There is no right way to be in this time of ours, except honest and true to who we are and where we want to be.

2020 wasn’t cancelled, and neither is 2021. All of this  has been hard. But, we are here—we are learning; we are growing; we keep going on. And even with everything happening around us, we still get to be the ones to change the world. There are so many conflicting feelings in this moment — joy and relief; heartache and sorrow; hope and anguish. Please know, we don’t have to choose one or the other. We get to feel all the things we need to in order to heal.

This is still an incredibly difficult time for all of us, some more than others. But that doesn’t mean we don’t get to acknowledge our wins, big or small. It doesn’t mean we don’t get to celebrate those glimpses of hope.

We get to hold space for both our grief and joy. We need love as much as we need masks, as much as we need ventilators, vaccines, universal health care and incomes. It’s okay to be scared. This has been an adjustment, as all new things are. Things are hard and abnormal until they become comfortable and normal. The human spirit is resilient.

We can do this.

Joél Leon is a father, dreamer and storyteller. Follow him @joelleon.