Just how resilient is the human soul?
I suppose you only discover that answer when you are pushed past the brink of all you thought you could handle, about to catapult over the edge of the Grand Canyon, hanging on by a thread, your heart throbbing in your stomach, feeling yourself about to fall—
Only, you don’t fall.
You somehow find footing.
You somehow find a solid place.
Sometimes it’s God. Sometimes it’s the people who come to you in your time of need. Sometimes it’s the spirits of those who have past. Sometimes it’s something from so deep within that there are no words, there is only action.
Sometimes it’s all of the above.
And then, you realize that your legs aren’t broken… and that you can stand on them. And if you aren’t ready to stand—you can sit.
I am looking forward to writing “2014” starting tomorrow. I will never forget this year—how could I? But I poignantly and purposefully remember what I have learned, the gifts I have received, and what I am capable of now that I wasn’t capable of one year ago:
Learning how to sit still with grief and to allow it to wash over me at times that anyone would consider to be inconvenient—that is a gift I got from 2013.
Yes—I have these grief-driven blips of time where I feel all emotional growth and maturity just vanishes—and I’ll say stupid things or have episodes of feeling incredibly needy and downright panicky—but then I come up for air…
And I return to me.
Learning what it feels like to return to me, and to practice it—a priceless gift from 2013.
Learning how to stand up for myself, even when it’s hard—that’s another gift I received.
Learning exactly how strong I am, and exactly how resilient my soul is—another gift.
Learning what radical acceptance feels like—of my body, of my soul, of my state of mind, of my attitude, of my life and world and emotions and everything—yes, yes, yes… a very precious gift.
Learning that I’ve chosen worthwhile people to be in my life, because those people came to me in my most desperate times of need instead of running away from me—a huge gift, indeed.
Learning just how brave I am, how absolutely fearless I have become, and how the fears I have remaining do not rule my world—they are just a part of me, woven into the fabric of my soul. I acknowledge… I accept… and I keep moving forward…
Learning how deeply and how fully I love—just thinking about it overwhelms me. Before 2013, I had not realized my capacity for love.
I love with my whole heart. I love with every fiber, every cell, every atom my soul occupies.
And that includes loving me, too.
I love myself.
I [finally] trust myself.
The grace I have received in 2013 is something I can never thank God enough for.
I have learned how to forgive myself.
I have learned that I am basically a happy and optimistic person, and even though I have been through the worst hell of my life this year… returning to me means returning to a general state of positivity and happiness.
I am grateful for this life.
I am braver than I thought.
I can do conflict—and I can actually do it well, and with solidarity.
I am a dancer. And sometimes, dancing helps me express what words cannot.
Yes. It was—unquestionably—the most difficult year of my life. I never expected any period of time to be as hard as the last 365+ days have been.
2013 showed me who I really am.
My word for the year was love.
I didn’t have to think very hard about my 2014 word.
In the fall, I experienced a special class with powerful women. In that class, we identified our top 5 values (from a list of about 185).
That’s harder than you might expect.
And your values drive—or should drive—every behavior, every habit, every interaction, every relationship—every piece and part of your life.
So, it’s meaningful to get it right.
I narrowed my list down to 13, and then I really got stuck. It turned out to be an eye-opening experience, because I realized that believing my values were really that broad actually caused me to lose focus on what is actually most sacred to me.
My list of 13 did not include one that’s actually in my top 5.
There are probably many reasons why (that I could explain ad nauseum)—but here are my 5:
As for the one that wasn’t in my original “top 13”?
(Yes. For real.)
I am choosing—from the deepest vibrations within me—one very special word for 2014. Because 2014 is going to rock. It is going to be full of happiness, peace, and most importantly—
I have learned to let in moments of joy, even when I was sobbing seconds before. I have felt deeply joyful moments when an instant before, I felt intense grief.
I understand joy. I get it.
But to actually welcome joy into my life, to invite it—
I am rolling out the red carpet for you in 2014.
Come on in.
You are welcome here!