None of us woke up today (December 31st) expecting to hear the news of Betty White’s passing, and for many of us, it felt like a horrible way to end another painful year. So many people this year (myself included), were personally hit by the loss of family members, friends, and animals in 2021, in addition to the loss of many important and inspirational public figures who also passed away. But there was just something particularly sad about losing Betty White on New Year’s Eve, the very last day of 2021, that really struck a chord with so many of us.
Betty represented what all of us seek, and feel that we are losing: stability (she had been with us our whole lives, and shared a personality that never waivered – she could be counted on always to be the same person we loved and cherished), happiness and hope (she lifted the spirits of everyone she encountered, because she never unleashed darkness into the world), love (she genuinely and completely loved life, her work, animals, and her late husband – all with a passion that never diminished), kindness (is there really anyone in this world who didn’t like Betty White?), and community (everyone could relate to her – she didn’t stir up division or hatred – and she demonstrated through her own sweet way, that differences should not be a cause for discrimination or harm or ugliness, because, deep down, all people are the same inside).
When the world loses a brilliant source of light, the loss can make everything seem so much darker. Unfortunately, we have been losing many sources of light over the past several years – people who have made huge differences in our lives and in the world! And I think that is why we were all left with such shock and sadness for Betty White’s passing. We knew who she was, we loved what she represented, and we thought she would always be there to cheer us up in a world that is increasingly more uncertain and less civil. And we were looking forward to celebrating with her on January 17th, when she would have turned 100 years old. But I think there is an important message from Betty’s passing.
She has reminded us that, we need to be the creators of what we want in life, and the source of our own happiness, and that our sadness is more often the result of hanging onto an image or a person or a time that has passed, instead of what’s really inside of us. Her passing on New Year’s Eve, the very last day of a year and the end of a cycle, was her way of passing the torch to all of us – to remind us to let go of the things we are holding onto so tightly, and, instead, begin a new year with a new goal and a new outlook: to take personal responsibility for the world we want to live in and the happiness we seek in our lives, and to use our own inner power for good. What we loved in her, what we loved about her, we too can manifest in the world! We just need to believe more in ourselves, and to always walk through the world with kindness!
Let’s have more hope for 2022. Instead of seeing darkness and despair, let’s visualize something better and work endlessly to create it. Let’s be more like Betty White!