2018 has been a wild ride.
One of the craziest things that happened? I found out I have a sister though an Ancestry DNA kit.
Subtle warning: If you do one of those suckers and get alerted of a first cousin, you could involuntarily be uncovering some skeletons in the familial closet. 😬
Career-wise, things have been on the up and up. I started my own writing consulting business. It’s been really exciting to finally have found my niche in the writing/business world, though more along the lines of “I can’t believe I get paid to do this!” as opposed to, “Excuse me? Who did you say your father was??” 😂
There have been loads of emotional moments and super challenging situations which freaked me the fuck out this year. It hasn’t been easy and I haven’t succeeded in hitting the Act In Alignment With Higher Self mark I’ve aimed for on every occasion (Shout out to my humanness for keeping me on my toes.) But I’ve done my best to be kind to myself and others as I’ve meandered emotionally volatile scenarios.
I’ve become heavily acquainted with the fact that you can’t be kind to other people in real ways if you’re not being kind to yourself.
Boom. Take a moment to absorb that hard-earned golden nugget of truth on a cellular level.
I’ve been proud of my growth, frustrated with what felt like a total lack of it at times, and surprised when everything worked out better than expected in the end, even though I was full of self-doubt and scared as hell when everything was all, “What does this mean? What do I do now? Ahhhhhh!!!!!”
It hasn’t always been a pretty scene, but that’s another thing I did this year: let go of trying to adhere to an impossible mold.
I realized I wasn’t born to be agreeable and reserved, and that I’m full-out exhausted over attempting to be someone else’s version of appropriate or pretty.
Fuuuuuck thaaaaaaat. I was born to be so much more than the rigid societal standards set for me, and 2018 was the year I owned that truth.
I’ve tried to acknowledge how profound my transformation has been as often as possible. (Insight: we need to focus more time and energy on our accomplishments rather than our perceived failures. Like, pat ourselves on the back more than once for the same thing. Seriously.)
I’ve let go of beliefs, behaviors, and in some cases people who were holding me back, and every single time I’ve courageously said goodbye to something or someone I’ve been met with an incredible new experience.
I’m talking manifesting income, new friendships, and peace of mind. ❤️
2018 taught me that Letting Go is a powerful form of self-care and self-love. So in praise of using the past to prep for the year ahead and beginning 2019 in a state of gratitude, here are 3 things I said goodbye to this year:
Hope is a beautiful thing. It motivates us to keep trying and believing in the power of being ourselves. The world needs us to do this work.
Misguided hope is different from run of the mill hope. It’s more so like unrealistic expectations that consume you with the belief that maybe someday, someone who is hurting you might change, even though you’ve got a long list of events from the past proving otherwise.
This misguided hope business is distracting and unproductive. It keeps you from doing work that will help you heal and evolve, which is what the world also needs you to do, now, more than ever.
The misguided hope I let go of in 2018 was directed towards people who were unwilling to see how their own actions were causing their own suffering and the suffering of others. They weren’t without options, just comfortable in their own discomfort. Though I cared for them deeply, I realized after a steady flow of feeling shitty in their presence that their behaviors were destructive to my well-being, and it was time to step back from hoping that the next time around, things would be different.
Letting go of the hope that one day I could have a relationship with them in the absence of aggression, judgment, and resentment was one of the greatest gifts I gave myself in 2018. It opened up space in my life for healthy new relationships to form, with others and myself, and honed my radar so I could easily spot dysfunctional behaviors moving forward, and act accordingly (Ie, not enable them.)
Now my hope for those who suffer is that they will one day find peace, not for me, but for themselves. The mantra I use, which I snagged from a Pema Chodron book, goes:
May they experience peace and the cause of peace.
It’s a beautiful thing to contemplate and affirm because it’s all about extending compassion for those who are suffering, from a safe distance. It’s productive hope, that the road to peace will bring them a greater understanding of their own contributions to their own suffering, so they can one day heal, not for me, but for themselves.
There are some friendships we hold onto because of the quality of the connection, and some we hold onto because of reasons that don’t make a lot of sense. You’ve known someone a long time? Cool, doesn’t mean you should be keeping up a relationship if it’s destructive to your well-being.
As a follow-up to releasing misguided hope from the docket, I let go of quite a few friendships this year.
Some ceremoniously and from within, IE without having a conversation with anyone, but rather, a conversation with myself, affirming my need to cease communications. Others took a bit more energy, like the ending of a 25-year friendship, which up until this year I hadn’t been willing to acknowledge was stifling my ability to grow.
I realized I had knighted myself as eternally obligated to keep communicating with someone in the absence of what a connection requires to exist: Trust.
Sure I’d known her a long time, but when I really dug into the dysfunctional dynamic we had I realized I couldn’t rely on her to be kind to me. It was a friendship marred by the pain and resentment of the past, and trying to get it to work was just a destructive game of enabling.
I discovered the courage to speak my truth without shame during the process of this friendship coming to a close. Though it was really upsetting when my attempts to communicate were met with aggression and manipulation, I don’t regret any of it. I am immensely proud of what I accomplished by expressing myself. It was a powerful boost to my confidence, to command and stand firm on my wellness needs in the presence of aggression and my own fears over what people might say or think about me.
In my 20s, the low carbohydrate diet came into play and I was all over it. I axed all forms of sugar, did my best to cut out bread (Hard because I love carbs: carbs, carbs, carbs) and added no-sugar, chemically laden desserts and a bevy of meats and cheeses to my plate on the regular. Barf and ouch to my arteries and health as a whole over those choices.
While I still toyed with bread on occasion because of my aforementioned love affair with gluten, my fear of sugar was intense and kept me far away from the fruit section of the grocery store for over 15 years.
I am no stranger to eating disorders and believed the headlines when they said sugar made you fat and unhealthy. That fear lasted until 2018, when I realized fruit wasn’t the problem, it’s the chemicals in the foods we eat and the viruses in our bodies that are.
Letting go of the belief that I shouldn’t eat fruit has been a huge contributor to 2018 being such a great year for me health-wise.
I eat a lot of it now, every single day, and as a newly anointed size 2 who has healed from chronic pain and severe anxiety and depression, I am proof that it doesn’t get you fat or cause illness — it heals your body.
While I still experience some anxiety and depression symptoms on occasion, I’m no longer on prescription medication, and when symptoms heighten I return to focusing on adding more plant-based foods to my diet, specifically fruit, and things start to improve.
Fruit can do amazing things. Please don’t be afraid of it! To learn more about how I healed myself by eating fruit, check out this post.
I let go of so much more in 2018…
I could keep churning out paragraphs about what I released from my life this past year, but another thing I let go of stops me: trying to accomplish too much.
I’ve learned over and over again that productivity does not equal self-worth.
My goal in life is to feel good, and I know that a less is more mentality is more likely to get me there than a maxed out to-do list kind of lifestyle will. Been there, barely functioned doing that!
Take some time to reflect before the New Year.
There is value in reviewing the highs and lows of the year that just passed. Acknowledging your accomplishments and taking note of what you let go of is a beautiful way to start and plan for 2019.
Right now, I’m taking what I’ve learned in 2018 and using it not only to write but to create goals for the year ahead via my desire map planner. (What’s a desire map planner? Think goals with soul, rather than focusing solely on to-do lists. Click here to find out more.)
I hope you have a great 2019 and want to help you start it off on a growth-centric note. Which is why I’m sending out a brand new offering to my readers to start the new year. 🎉
These books have changed my life in major ways, and I guarantee they will change your life, too. You likely have never heard of them because they aren’t lining the shelves of bookstores, but that’s not because they aren’t incredible resources. Find out what I mean by entering your name and email here, and I’ll send you the list on January 1st.
Happy New Year to you, and thanks for reading this post! I hope 2019 brings some amazing experiences your way and that I get the chance to connect with you!
You are loved,
Image via Rakicevic Nenad
Originally published at mustlovecrows.com on December 27, 2018.