Reflections Pt 1
There are 30 days left in the year.
30 days left to choose joy over hate.
30 days left to choose forgiveness over spite.
30 days left to choose courage over cowardice.
The end of the year for me always carries with it this heavy flavor of happiness. The world outside is shrouded in magic: people try a little harder to be kind to one another; they opt to forgive and wrap each other in the warmth of compassion and unconditional love. In this part of the world, the temperatures drop. We book flights and trains and cars for destinations thousands of miles away to be with the people that made us who we are. I think of simpler times when I thought a person my age would have things figured out - and then I realize that no one has anything figured out and we are all just doing the best we can. Those What-I-Wish-I-Would-Have-Said moments pop their little heads into my thoughts more frequently as the year comes to a close. All of a sudden, I recognize the fleeting nature of every moment, every experience. It’s beautiful and a little tragic at the same time.
This year I said would be the year of courage moments. I like to have a big mantra to focus my year. It’s the lens through which I decide to see my life. At the end of 2017, I was hopeful and in love and saw the world through the eyes of a person who thought anything was possible. I saw the world through the eyes of a person who believed in me more than I believed in myself. Now, at the end of 2018, I feel like I can hardly remember most of this year because I spent so much of it blinded by incredible sadness and hurt. (Obviously, this blog is public so I try not to name names. Most of the time, I think it is enough to say that shit hit the fan and now I’m cleaning up the mess and restoring order. I do wonder, occasionally, whether they still read the things I write. Part of me always questions whether or not I should share my experience when I bring it back to personal experience because I would never want to unintentionally and carelessly hurt or offend anyone. So, I mostly speak in vague references or allusions to times and places that only a few people know the intimate details of. I am reminded that this is my platform, and, although the way the circumstances impacted me might not be the way they impacted the other parties - we might not have the same understanding or perspective on the situation -, my truth is my truth. What I feel and think is what I feel and think.) I think my greatest accomplishment of this year is that I made it to the end with most of my wounds scabbing and healing instead of still wide open. I was courageous. I was brave. I did things I had been too afraid to do for the past few years: I said yes to massive opportunities. I left destructive relationships. I moved across the country alone. I did it without a job or a place to live or, really, even a plan. I fell and tumbled around and got back up. I am still standing.
My intention to act, think, and feel from a place of courage also means that I must reflect courageously on what has transpired these past 335 days. Introspection creates the ability to choose. Heading into December, I feel the pressure of obligations and hopes and expectations rising. I know myself. The pressure rises and I mobilize. I do the most. I take no breaks. I go until I cannot anymore. I do this because in the past, my tactic was to numb. Now it’s to avoid. I feel like that’s progress though. For me, it is. Now, I’m feeling the feelings and thinking the thoughts, just on my own timeline. Last year I thought I had found home inside another person and another group of people. I think those feelings were real in the moment, but they are no longer true. Now when I think of those circumstances, I feel incredibly lonely. I’ve wondered why that is. I’ve explored it in my personal writing: why, when I think about what happened, does it make me feel so isolated, so alone, so unable connect?
Answer: The home I am looking for needs to be me.
So this week we’re exploring what home means, to feel at home inside of your own skin, to feel safe and protected in your thoughts and feelings.
I’ve got a bit of homework for you, though, before we get to ways to cultivate safety, security, and stability in you. Take a moment to journal about these questions. Then, come back later in the week to find out what it means to build a home within you.
What does it mean for you to feel home? What are the qualities of home?
When you feel safe, what is it like your body, mind, and heart?
What do you feel like you're missing? What is it that you are looking to other people or groups or organizations to color in?
How would it feel if you had all of the materials within yourself to build a home? Essentially, how would it feel if the above were not true?
Okay! That’s all for now, see you soon!