I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, though I do want to resume my regular blogging schedule. I set intentions by candlelight, after a cleansing bath. This year, I didn’t put anything new on the list. Instead, I reaffirmed.
Sometimes I'm feeling myself, sometimes I'm feeling like hiding under the covers and never coming out.
2019 is going to start out, for me, with a re-dedication to my purpose. In the shitshow that was 2018 I lost sight of several things that mattered to me. I’ve started off this year with a yoga class, meditation, re-drawing some firm boundaries with people who casually trampled over them in the last month, and therapy. And by picking up some books I didn’t finish reading but which were helping me on my journey.
The first book, Calling in “The One,” may have a cheesy title and cover image, but inside are some great relationship exercises that have helped me dig down to the root of my relationship issues in the past. The section on parental baggage is brutal, y’all. But necessary.
So I’ve started reading a chapter a night and actually doing the exercises. I’m writing them out in a journal that a dear friend from college sent me for Christmas, in a box of stuff meant to cheer me up. I’m combining it with my nightly meditation, drawing a mantra from the exercises. Mantras like, “I’m worthy,” or “I matter.”
I’m a little leery of “law of attraction” type books like this one and the next on my list – The Soulmate Secret. Mainly because, while they usually have a throwaway chapter or a few paragraphs about abuse and rape and shitty stuff like that, it’s hard not to read into their words the message that a child’s cancer, or a rape, or an abusive husband, was somehow what you “called in.” So I struggle somewhat with their messages.
But I do believe that unresolved and unexamined things in our life have a way of repeating themselves unless we deal with them. I’ve noticed that, since my divorce, my friendships have been of a much higher caliber. I now have an incredibly interesting, accomplished, and kick-ass circle of friends. My work relationships have improved as I learn to set boundaries and walk away from bad clients.
In my inter-personal relationships, even as I clarify more and more what I want, what I’ll forgive, and where I’ll draw a hard “no,” the idea of worth is still an issue.
Over the last year, we as women have simultaneously been told that our voices matter – through #metoo – and then that they don’t matter at all if we’re testifying against a Supreme Court nominee. I know I’m not the only survivor who has felt a bit tossed back and forth and overwhelmed by the cultural changes taking place.
You wake up one day and you matter, you wake up the next and your Republican third cousin is sharing memes about a drunken Christine Blasley-Ford falling out of a car (no, I won’t link to it). To survivors of sexual abuse, assault, and rape, particularly if it happened when we were young, worth and matter are often fought for, clawed for, and eventually internalized over a very long time period. The time period’s length depends upon our support network and family, IMO.
I spent this year being told, over and over, by a legal system and a sexist, lazy judge unwilling to do his damned job (seriously, if I showed up to a client meeting for which they’d spent thousands of dollars preparing and said – Oh, I didn’t have time to read your presentations – I’d be FIRED), that what I want doesn’t matter. My self-esteem took a beating this year, though I’m proud to say that I’m bouncing back faster than ever before.
My worth isn’t determined by others. My worthiness of love, and safety, and joy, and the worthiness of all women, doesn’t depend on external validation. But, in saying that, I don’t want to minimize the work we often have to do to move past the messages of our childhoods.
This year, I’m seeking to move that cerebral knowledge of my worth into my body and soul. To internalize it like I never have before. I’ll let you know how it goes ;)