It’s that time of year again—time for contemplation.
In anticipation of the new year, I usually ask myself:
What do I want?
What are my goals?
What do I hope to acquire, accomplish or achieve?
I look toward the new year from a perspective of desire. I have been desiring similar stuff for many years and generally, it comes to me in a form familiar enough to recognize it as a response to wanting that specific “thing” that wound up not entirely fulfilling my deep inner craving.
So, why the hell am I sitting here this new year with similar desires of many years gone by?
Underneath it all, my greatest desire is to have meaning and purpose.
I submit that meaning and purpose are the greatest desire of most sentient beings even if they are unaware of it. We may define it in many ways, but I believe each of us is striving for our purpose, our passion, for our true love, for the highest and best. Each of us wants to make a contribution. We just may have a lot of sh*t in the way of our true meaning and purpose.
When I ask myself what gives meaning and purpose to my life I don’t hear the voice of my soul say “a new car, a bigger house, a pay raise,” although all of those are just dandy.
No. I hear “showing others a path to freedom and recognition of the divine within themselves. Inspiring others to find their beauty, self-love and courage to be true to themselves.”
I pause as tears stream down my cheeks and I am slammed with the painful truth that I’m not doing this for myself.
Although I talk about it a lot, I’m not living freely, in full alignment, recognizing my beauty and courage. Oh no. I’m listening to fear a lot. I’m boxed up complying with external demands, looking for my shot to live big, to supersize, to be set apart as special.
I alternate between deep self-respect and self-disdain. Truly, I have fears—I wrestle with facing them and I beat myself up over it.
“Purpose and meaning are jewels to be found, paradoxically, through shedding what does not qualify as having purpose or meaning.” ~ Caroline Myss, Defy Gravity
This New Year instead of focusing upon what I want and accepting the little bits of satisfaction, I’m getting some sh*t out of the way—I’m letting go, freeing up space for what has true meaning and purpose to me and holding out for it even when fear captures my attention and begs to be tended.
I am shedding old, stale, self-limiting beliefs. I am shedding the grip and power I give fear—bringing it to the surface where it can have its say. I am accepting my fears and revering fear for doing its job (trying to protect me from death—truly, that is what the fear response in our brain was expertly created to do—it never had anything to do with protecting us from humiliation or failure).
One by one, I am facing each fire-breathing fear dragon and forgiving it.
I am letting fear go in the moment and re-choosing. I am choosing in alignment with my soul and trusting that from this place of full self-awareness and authenticity, my highest good will manifest. Even now, as I re-choose my relationship with fear, it makes another attempt arguing that what my intuitive nature wants is risky.
In my desire to be transparent, I am compelled to declare a few tangible things that I am shedding.
I am shedding my day job.
It promised to be a great job in a field that gifted me with great success and financial reward for many years. I cannot point to intolerable job-related conditions. All I know for certain is that my soul is starving for this time to write, coach and move about freely and with wonder; it’s craving for adventure and for its voice to be heard. I will work and I am a courageous woman who will not sell my soul before I sell my stuff, my nice house or make a heroic effort to sell my purpose-driven gifts and talents that I’m afraid won’t be valued.
I will shed my fear and take a leap.
I am shedding the pursuit of relationship for the purpose of not feeling lonely and assuaging the fear that I may be alone forever or am not good enough to share the evolutionary relationship I want.
A relationship that is evolved, utterly honest, accountable, based in security and a mutual desire to care for self and other as a primary commitment—meaning, more important than protecting ourselves from past wounds, from protecting ourselves from financial ruin and from being vulnerable (what the hell does that really mean?).
I have a high bar—consider this my profoundly public declaration of the loftiness of it and my self-respecting intent to not lower it. Even if I’m alone and feeling lonely, I will not feel fear.
Sincerely, when I sat down to write this I was feeling lonely and afraid; caught up in the noise of my unfulfilled desires. I now feel empowered, aligned, clear and authentic.
While I don’t know how the world will react to my writing, painting and photography or when my evolutionary partner will arrive; I am congruent with my soul and that is meaningful to me.
So, if you’re not sure what you want in the new year or if you too have been wanting the same stuff without a great result, try shedding something that isn’t working to make space for what your heart is craving.
I wish each reader a purpose-filled 2017,
Author: Carin Aichele
Image: flickr/Jen Yoshioka
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock