"It's amazing that we can miss, deny, or ignore what is in plain sight everywhere." –Richard Rohr
A friend said to me over coffee last week, “2020 is your year for clear vision and taking care of yourself, and to have confidence in the person you are.”
Each year I choose a word as a theme for the next 12 months. For 2019 my word was “freedom”. There’s a lot of ghosts and emotional baggage in my closet that I wanted to be liberated from. I expected my emancipation in 2019 would look and feel a certain way (you know, without struggle; easy, light, happy, and full of joy). Of course life flipped a switch that unleashed a storm of change, reminding me that I’m not actually the conductor of this crazy life train. I’m simply a passenger making a conscious decision to switch train cars while we’re still speeding forward, trying to find my correct seat on board.
It turns out that freedom for me couldn’t be reached without facing pain I’ve spent years of effort hoping to avoid. Somehow in all the terror and darkness, my hand fumbled around and found a flashlight with nearly drained batteries and along with it, just a sliver of courage—enough to unlock the airtight box that’s kept my inner voice in captivity for most of my life. My 2019 “freedom” was actually for my inner voice—my true self—to be able to step out of captivity and into who I am, no longer living a passive life and giving other people control over my happiness and self-worth.
It has come with more tears this year than I ever thought possible, paired with the most awful and tormenting ache in my heart, as if it were actually shattering into a hundred pieces inside my chest. The gift of it all was hidden within the realization that no one else was capable of changing my situation, except for me. There would be no rescue, unless I took on the role of becoming my own rescuer.
I’ve learned that authentic freedom looks like respecting yourself, speaking up for yourself, and giving yourself space to sit with the feelings that will break your heart. It’s loving yourself well, so that you can heal and transform all the hurt into something beautiful, living out your true purpose...
The word I’ve selected for 2020 is “nurture”. More clarity, more noticing the love that exists all around me, more self-care, more therapy, more listening to my inner voice, and more speaking my truth. I don’t think there’s any better way to kick off a whole new decade than by making a commitment to more self love and honesty. 🙃
What’s your word for the new year?