Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
As I look forward to the new year, I am usually reflective on a theme for the year. For the year 2011, my theme was courage. I took many brave chances in that year including writing several essays and submitting them for publication; playing my flute alongside many professionals in a symphony; and facing many of my emotional demons. That year, I even took a chance on falling in love.
As I reflect on 2012, I couldn’t come up with just one theme. And I guess the fact that I couldn’t come up with one theme, is kind of a theme in itself. I bet you are pretty confused right now, so I will just get to the point. 🙂 Although I believe that I was very courageous this year as well, I didn’t see that as an overarching theme. This year I believe there were 3 themes that were prevalent in my journey: healing, imperfection, and surrender.
Healing. The recovery of my emotional self, my inner child, and my outer adult continued, but I stepped it up in a more intimate way. After taking the chance on love and it not working out toward the end of 2011, I was deeply hurt and filled with feelings of inadequacy. But I did something a little different. I reached out to people and was vulnerable with those I could trust. I allowed myself to receive love, albeit not the romantic kind, but I realized that love is just love, and I let it heal my heart. I was truthful about many things that I went through this year, some things were shared on my blog, some were shared with my best friend, recovery friends, and other friends, some with my therapist, but many things were shared in my quiet time with God. The point is that my own healing involved me being truthful about many painful things and feeling feelings that I did not want to feel. This is still a struggle, but I have made a lot of progress, and this has been an essential part of my emotional healing this year.
Imperfection. Simply put, I realized that other people that act like they have it all together…really do not. This year, I became consciously aware of when I’m comparing myself to others and how and when I beat myself up for not being “perfect.” This awareness has led me to utilize practical strategies to reframe my reactions to imperfection.
Surrender. I’ve been learning the difference between surrender and giving up. I have had a lot of crappy things happen this year, and have wanted to check out. That’s giving up. But what I’ve noticed is that when the crappy things happen and I surrender to the experience, I’m less tempted to check out on life. This has not been easy, but I’m learning. Now, I’m not talking about sitting around and affirming positivity in all crappy situations. That doesn’t always work for me. Surrendering to the experience means surrendering to the frustration, discouragement, hurt and pain that sometimes results from our experiences. What I’m talking about is actively praying to my Higher Power about whatever I am going through and finding some comfort in my relationship with that Spiritual Source. It’s about reflecting on what God is trying to teach me in the moment. It’s about understanding how much clarity I have now compared to 5 years ago and being grateful for how far I have come. It’s about truly finding out who I AM and loving all of it.
It’s about saying to myself, I am wonderful, beautiful, and loved, and actually being able to believe the words.
So that’s it. My 3 themes for 2012. I hope my reflections will inspire you to reflect on your own themes. I know I am so tempted to reflect on what went wrong this year, and that’s okay, but it’s not fair to only reflect on the challenges without the victories.
It will be interesting to see how many themes I come up with at the end of 2013! But for now, I will continue to try and take each day, one at a time as this spiritual journey called life continues.