Friday, December 4, 2015

It's a new year!

Some years ago, I started a practice of choosing a theme for each year -- one word I could start with and return to throughout the year. Some past themes included Kindness and Joy, for example. I find that a theme works better than a list of resolutions, which typically end up being a bunch of rules I use to beat myself up when I fall short. It's an extension of having principles vs rules in our home.

This past year's theme was self-care, and I really did will with it -- I resolved some health questions, made a point of being kind to myself more often, set some boundaries in relationships with loved ones, found a therapist, and made some changes in my life. It was a good year. I'm keeping up with the self-care, as I do with all past themes, the idea being to make lifelong improvements.

I start my new years on my birthday. After all, these are my years. Why use someone else's calendar? That means I've been at this year's theme for almost 6 weeks now. I don't choose the theme as much as it chooses me. I write down words and ideas, starting in September, to narrow down a choice by Oct 26. Most years, when the first word comes to me, I dismiss it, thinking it somehow wrong, before I end up settling on it as a theme. It's an intuitive - or maybe counterintuitive - process. 

This year's theme is release. I chose it quickly, thinking it would be wonderful to let go of all the things that have held me back. I could let go of anger, pain, and sadness, throw out relationship tools I no longer need. Maybe get rid of the couple of hammers still hanging out in my personal toolbox. It'd be wonderful! Right? And yes, I'm letting go of some of those things, sifting thru the years, forgiving slights, striving to see people and events in a new light.

Last week, tho, a new thought popped into my head. While releasing means letting go of things we've outgrown or no longer need or want, tools that don't serve us well, people who aren't safe, it also means freeing things held inside too long. It means expressing the words and feelings I've kept inside in a lifetime of peacekeeping and caretaking. It means trying the things I was afraid for others to see. It means speaking my truth in ways I haven't before. It likely means being more outspoken than I've ever been and less diplomatic. Maybe taking more risks that people won't understand or accept me. Not that keeping my truth inside has helped many people understand me.

It my also mean people who liked me before -- or the person I've presented the past 53 years -- might find they don't like me so much after all. You know what?  I'm okay with that. If people fall away, I won't take it personally.

Just a heads up -- if you've found me only a little annoying, you may find I'm more so. And if you've wondered how I really feel about things, if you want to see me try some new things, and you'd like to see me maybe offend some folks I've not gotten around to yet, this could be fun! 


Amy said...

Oh yay!
Love this!

Cally said...

Wonderful! I can relate to this very well. :)