Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Start

Today is the last day of 2015. I find it interesting that so much focus is put on a fresh new start for a fresh new year when, really, every moment is an opportunity to start over fresh. Every choice is a chance to take a different direction in your life. And I have come to realize all to well that I need to accept that other people will make their own choices, choose their own paths, despite their history, despite their experiences taking that same path before. It hurts to have to accept this, especially when it comes to people that I love and care for and would do almost anything for.

As much as I write about acceptance, truth and letting go I haven't accepted many things, I haven't been honest with myself and I haven't let go of a lot of feelings. It's time for me to do that. The only person I'm hurting is myself. I've been living in the past and it's wreaking havoc on my life, my heart, my spirit. There is only so long that I can stand beside someone and watch them make destructive choices - destructive to themselves and to others around them. I can no longer allow them to hurt me in that way, to use me. I am in charge of my own choices and my own life and the direction that it goes. I can no longer carry the weight of the worry, feel the pain, cry the tears. My soul feels crushed under this weight and I literally cannot breathe some days because of it.

I want to be free. I choose to be free. I release my thoughts. I have lived too long in the chains of worry beyond what is healthy, beyond what is caring. This relationship no longer serves me in any positive way and I must cut the ties that bind. I will always care and I will always unconditionally love but I am starting over - powering down, restarting, clearing my memory banks and reinstalling limited programs. There will always be a placeholder in my heart and I will always love. I will always have hope for happiness. But I need to make space in my heart for me, to love myself as I am and to make myself happy.

Every day is a challenge, for all of us, in our own way. We all experience the same emotions, whether it is fear, love, loneliness, joy, anger. It is how we choose to express them - or not express them - that influences our choices in life, that steers us on our journey. In the end it will be okay; it always is. Every day, you will be okay; you always are. Every day I will be okay; I always am.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Everything Changes

Everything changes.

Every year something is different. But this year, this Christmas, there is so much that is different. It’s overwhelming and I can’t contain my tears or sadness no matter how hard I try. There are good changes, of course, but overall I’m having a difficult time accepting that things aren’t the same as they were before and that they will never be like they were a year ago.

I’m doing my best to reflect on everything and look at who I am now compared to who I was a year ago but my mind keeps going to back to everything that is missing this year – how alone I feel instead of how strong I have become. How do I keep my mind from getting distracted by what isn’t here and stay focused on what is here? All this mindfulness training I’ve taken and practiced, the yoga that I’ve been doing, the meditation techniques I’ve learned don't seem to be enough.

I know that I need to process the feelings I’m experiencing – to feel them, to accept them – the sadness, loneliness and emptiness that ebbs and flows within me. That is only part of the solution though. I want to focus more on healing myself from within so that I can get back to doing the things that I love and enjoy, having fun with friends, laughing out loud, even. It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve even laughed a wholehearted, meaningful, joyful, cheery, happy laugh. So, so long. And it shouldn’t be like that. No one should have to feel so sad and lonely that they can’t bear to laugh. No one should have to endure so much loss, suffering or pain that it becomes difficult to find that space within from where laughter bubbles up.

I’ve been pulling books off my shelves that resonate with me and have added a few more to my collection in the past couple weeks. It’s a process: read, apply, practice, practice, and practice. And keep practicing, just like anything else. When I want to learn to play a new piano piece it takes practice. A new instrument – practice. A new yoga pose – practice. A new job – you got it, practice. I want to be diligent in my practice and I want to do well. I want to live well and be well. I have to also want to practice, which seems to be the crux of the problem. This won’t necessarily be my New Year’s “Resolution”, but it is a priority for me.

As I type this, I’m travelling to my hometown to be with my family for the holidays. It will be brief but my immediate family will all be together – the last time we were together at Christmas was 8 years ago. It will be good to have everyone together at the table for Christmas brunch and opening our gifts. But even those traditions will have changed, lost in the passage of time.

Everything changes.