Do you make New Year’s resolutions anymore? I don’t, but I’m also the type of person who always has a goal on the go.
Last year, my friend introduced me to the idea of choosing a word for the year instead of a resolution. I chose Abundance and Flow.
These words became my focal point for the year. Any time I was unsure of what decision to make, I went back to those words, does this align with abundance and flow?
I’m not simply talking about financial abundance – although that too! My focus was abundance of everything positive my life could need – financially, emotionally, love, kindness, friendship – abundance of all things good! Flow was more about letting life take the lead for a bit. Getting into life’s natural rhythm and flow and allowing what’s meant to be to be. I used to resist everything. Every feeling, emotion, friendship, love, opportunity – I needed to control every little detail until my free-will would cause it to break. I could never simply allow life to fall into place for me, the way it was meant to. I’m all about using action steps and free-will to project life forward in a positive direction, but this anxiety-ridden need to control and resist didn’t leave any room for life’s little miracles to take place. This year was all about letting life take the lead and trusting that things would fall into place the way that they were meant to – and they did!
It’s a scary leap of faith, letting life take the lead, but man was it worth it! I often felt like I was being nudged off the edge of a cliff and I didn’t have a parachute – but then just when I’d fall, a parachute would appear, and I’d gently glide through the abyss until both feet were on the ground again.
Okay maybe it wasn’t all gentle.
Okay maybe a lot of it wasn’t gentle. There were many uncomfortable moments that felt like chaos, pain and suffering – this is what growing feels like sometimes. Thankfully I was miraculously surrounded by healers and lovers and friends who all made the process a little more bearable!
Which leads me to my words for 2019 – Connect and Receive.
I’m great at connecting to other people, not so great at letting other people connect to me. I feel significantly more comfortable in a support role than I do as the one being supported. When I’m supporting others, I can keep my vulnerability bundled up all tidy in its neat little box deep inside my body where no one can poke my wounds or see my weaknesses. Because I’m good at talking about emotions without feeling any of them I can easily portray false connection without having to actually feel any of it or the risks that come with allowing myself to feel that. Most of the time I am not even conscious of the fact that I’m doing this, its become so natural that I don’t think about it.
You see, if I allow myself to feel that connection, then I can be hurt or let down. If I keep people at a nice distance emotionally, it feels super safe and comfortable, but really has no value. Then when I am in desperate need and forced to ask for help or connection, it feels way scarier and more vulnerable than if I’d simply allowed myself to connect in the first place before being in need.
What I’ve realized lately is that it is no longer that I don’t have the people to connect to – I am now surrounded by an abundance of people who all say to me in their own ways, I’m here for you! Let me support you! Let me love you! and my inner fear is saying no bro! I can support others, but they aren’t able to support me; if I let you see who I really am and how much I really need, you’ll leave. I’m super comfy in my comfort zone here in the middle of all these walls I’ve neatly stacked up around myself and I’m not ready to poke any bricks out of them for you to let your love through.
Obviously, this doesn’t allow very much room for me to receive the connection that I crave.
The people are there. The opportunities for connection are there. It’s time for me to face the hard truth that the reason I don’t feel connected to people isn’t because of them, its because of me. Hiding behind these tall brick walls I’ve built around myself.
2019 is a year for breaking these walls down baby!
Fuck that’s terrifying.
For me to effectively receive the love, support and connection that abundantly surrounds me now, I am going to have to lean in to vulnerability, poke a few of the bricks out of these walls, and crack open the pandoras box I’ve created inside of me filled with all my repressed shame, pain, guilt and fear for generations.
The truth is, I’ve surrounded myself with people who are quite capable of supporting me emotionally and offering me that connection if I allow them to. None of them, however, can poke out any of these bricks unless I let them. None of them can effectively love me unless I let them.
Here’s the thing about keeping this pandoras box neat, tidy, safe and comfortably inside of me – if I never allow myself to feel the pain I’ve repressed, then I’ll never be able to feel love and connection either.
I know that I love people, not based on feeling, but because of how I am with them. My way of being. When I want to make the effort to always approach someone with empathy, kindness, patience and vulnerability, I know that I love them. When I want to hear from someone or see them, no matter the convenience, and I want to put the effort in to be patient and kind to them even if they’ve hurt me, I know that I love them. I don’t feel this in my body however, because until I allow myself to feel the repressed, I won’t be able to feel love either. This doesn’t make me incapable of loving though, because I know myself and how to judge my unfelt emotions based on my thoughts and behavior.
I also know, because I’m intentional about how I live my life day to day and the direction that I want to go in – and I’m committed to using my free-will to positively direct me forward – that I will continue to slowly process pandoras box, one shitty emotion at a time, and that eventually I’ll be able to feel love and connection again.
Repressing these emotions was a survival skill. A coping tool. It got me through some very challenging times that I may not have survived had I had to feel it all at once. For this, I am grateful, however, locking them up and throwing away the key no longer serves my highest and best life, and its time to gently pry that baby open.
My life today looks entirely different than it did 365 days ago. I’ve planted the seeds within me and they’ve begun to sprout, but we all know the real growth happens when what’s been planted pushes past the surface and the light can shine onto it. 2019 is where the real growth happens. Photosynthesis for my life.
AND BRO THE LIGHT IS WARM! It’s beautiful. Shining down on all the shadow parts of myself. Melting the cold I’ve unintentionally let surround my heart for so long, so that I can finally let in all the love that surrounds me now.
2019 I’m ready for you. And I’m pumped!
May 2019 be the year that I truly let myself feel whatever I need to feel, be whoever I truly am rather than who I think the world needs me to be, and gently poke out these bricks, allowing my walls to crumble to dust around me, letting in the love and light to support and feed me through my greatest growth.