Have you ever come to the end of the year and just marveled at how much you survived?
Many of us are looking back at a year filled with struggle and challenges, and we’re hoping that next year will somehow be different. But the only way to create a different result in our lives is to make a change. So for the coming year, I’ve decided to revise an old saying and make this my New Year’s meditation:
Out with the old and in with the true.
If the next year has any hope of being different, we have to get rid of some old behaviors and start looking at some hard truths.
For me, the last year has been about struggle in every aspect of my life. I’ve struggled with romantic relationships—trying to find a balance between love and loss and figuring out along the way that I deserve a lot better than the treatment I’ve allowed. I’ve struggled with family and my single mom existence—trying to find balance and create boundaries in my life. I’ve met challenge after challenge and fought my way out of the darkness each time.
I’ve been trying to welcome each new obstacle as a teacher…if welcoming means that I met each one with a litany of curses and then had to find the lesson inside of getting the holy sh*t kicked out of my heart each time. But I chose to learn from each experience, even if I had to be dragged to those lessons kicking and screaming and cursing fate. I won’t go so far as to say that I wanted the lessons or enjoyed them, but I have chosen to live an authentic life so I work hard to not live in the land of bullsh*t any longer. That means I require myself to face my truths.
For example, I operate in adoration mode when I’m into someone. Sorry-not-sorry, but I don’t do half-assed affection; that said, this adoration mode has been getting on my nerves recently. I don’t worship the ground anyone walks on, but I tend to think the best of people and see the highest version of them, or at least the potential of who they could be if they so chose.
Earlier this year, I fell in love with the worst possible person. I don’t mean he was a terrible person, but there’s something kind of terrible about loving someone incapable of loving you back. So there I was, totally in full-on adoration mode—big hearts in my eyes and willing to go the extra mile to make his life a little easier. And here’s my truth: I didn’t see what I didn’t want to because I let those big hearts in my eyes and my happy-go-lucky personality blind me, or at least distract me, from what was really going on. I could see that when he lied—by fact or omission—he would avoid eye contact. I noticed every single time, but at the same time didn’t allow myself to notice. I just turned up the adoration mode so that I wouldn’t have to see the pain that was headed my way.
When we choose to live without seeing our truth or the truth of what’s actually going on, we’re going to get hurt. We’re not going to get less hurt because we deny it. In fact, I’d venture to say we more hurt because it goes on longer, and we’ve built up all of this resistance to what is inevitable.
And we don’t grow as long as we choose not to know.
We just get in our own way and make our lives harder, and for what? For a relationship to last a couple of weeks longer? For the illusion of security? For the comfort of a lie that tells us that the one we adore could actually adore us back? But you see, it’s all a lie.
When we choose an authentic life, we have to take a hard look at ourselves, at the choices we make and even at the people we allow in our lives. If we want the next year to be different, we have to stop repeating the bullsh*t of the previous year. We have to actually learn the lessons that life is trying to teach us, because I can guarantee that life will keep giving us whatever lesson we need until we learn it. We all know people who always believe life has given them lemons when life has, in fact, given them the ingredients for lemonade—or lemon meringue or maybe even lemon pie—if only they would learn to use it.
It’s time to throw out our old way of doing things, all of those useless patterns that have only ever hurt us or have long outgrown their usefulness. It’s time to make new choices by first seeing our truth and then seeing what is in our power to change.
Our lives are beautiful and brief, and I don’t want to waste one more second pretending anything at all.
I don’t want to believe a lie or put off a difficult truth for another day. I want to live every day choosing truth and being available for a love that honors that truth. I want to live a life that takes place in this moment and not in some imagined one, someday when all the stars align.
It’s not about a new year and a new you (or a new me). It’s about a new year and a new opportunity to choose differently if we want a different result. And we’ll never make a different choice if we just keep saying and doing the same old things and telling the same story. Until we let it go and embrace our truth, it won’t be a new year at all—just another page on a calendar that looks like every other. Just another year repeating the same pattern.
So out with the old and in with the true.
This is a mantra we can meditate with as we welcome a new year—exhale the old, breathe in the true. Exhale all of the lies we’ve told ourselves and chosen to believe. Inhale the truth of who we are and what we need. Exhale all the expectations that have led us to a life we do not want. Inhale the truth of our choices and how they have fashioned the lives we lead.
Make this the year you exhale the old and inhale the true.
Author: Crystal Jackson
Editor: Nicole Cameron
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