By Dina Evan, PhD

Believe it or not I actually mean that! I have learned so much about myself during this pandemic, this past Presidency and through every challenge our state of society has offered me. And, I am incredibly grateful for all of it, even as exhausted and spent as I have felt at times.

For instance, I was not brought up to be prejudiced, that is unless you count my womanizing father who attempted to teach me women were not to be respected. He didn’t win.

I have four beautiful black grandchildren I adore — so I thought I had escaped the racism which permeates our country. However, as I watched and listened to information on that epidemic, I realized I had never bothered to become aware of the lack of opportunity for jobs and healthcare, the housing issues and the rampant police abuse that had been taking place the whole time I was asleep to these issues.

I am not yet fully awake, but my heart is broken and I am ashamed that I did not get it sooner and I’m trying to make changes in every way I can. I cut us all some slack about everything we didn’t see the reality of, because we are all evolving and it takes these incredibly painful, holy moments to wake us up, and boy has this one done it’s job.

Before this last election process, I never took as seriously the need to research the candidates before just voting for one party or the other. There are good Republicans and there are good Democrats — and we want all of them working for us. There are those on the fringe who are solely dedicated to chaos and control, and we want none of them in office…who knew? Not me. This is the first year I did background checks on all of them. I am now an Independent not just independent. And I will vote for person, not party, ever again

This year I will turn 79 and I have never looked at the services available to the elderly club I am about to join. Do you want to live in a well-kept establishment, with healthy food and mind-expanding activities at the end of your life?

Well, I have learned you better have a minimum of $2500 a month to share with the purveyors of elder care unless you have relatives who are willing to take you into their homes. Trust me, that makes life limited, knowing that means you take no chances out of concern about falling, using your savings for anything fun or even driving at night. However, it’s not all bad news. There is so much to learn available online on Ted Talks and hundreds of other places. So those moments you use to wish you had to just slowdown and learn something new, arrive in abundance.


There is a new day dawning

One in which we have so many new things, new awareness’ to embrace. That is, if you are willing. And, that is the key to being joyful.

This is the year to realize you can still have good self-loving boundaries and also take some time to help others in a way that breaks your heart open. You can still learn about having greater integrity and honesty by admitting you have chosen to be blind to some things that must be changed, in each of us, if we really want to be conscious, good people who learn…. what we came here to learn.

We still have time to learn that the accumulation of things; money, stocks, acclaim and stature are not the things that will make us happy or fulfilled. So what does?

It’s the things that push your soul forward, cause you to weep and break your heart open. It’s about those moments of connection with you and another human being that need no words, or that truth you were afraid to tell and now have found the courage to admit.

It’s about your fear of loving deeply without limits and with outrageous commitment knowing you will not lose yourself but rather you will find your true self and that is what you came here to do. And that my beloved readers is what you came here to do. For those of you who enjoy this column, thank you so much for your support. Please let me hear from you in the New Year about the things you want us to share. Barbara will continue to be here for you and so will we.

Dr. Evan is a Marriage, family, child therapist and consciousness counselor. She has presented nationwide seminars and workshops, written several books and created meditation CDs for couples, individual and mental health professionals. She has also won national acclaim as a human rights advocate. Visit or call 602 571-8228.