What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?
Hmmm. That’s tough. Let’s start with a quick 10 things I learned about myself this year.
1. I have desires. And I’m really uncomfortable acknowledging them, let alone sharing them.
2. Expressing my desires doesn’t always scare people off – it can actually help me get what I’m after.
3. I often base my life on how people will react to me, and try to make myself happy based on their approval of me, rather than basing my life on the happiness of actually being myself and going after what it is I want. I’d like to change this.
4. Travel, even thinking and talking about it, nourishes me. Without adventure I am spiritually starved.
5. Amazingly, there are people out there that find me loveable. And it’s sad that I find that amazing.
6. A morning routine really stabilizes me. And it needs to be as simple as possible.
7. I need my body, heart, and mind to be in balance. Paying attention to all three daily is important to me. Bike riding has been hugely helpful. Feeling my feelings in my body has been hugely helpful.
8. My emotions are combinations of thoughts (which move the emotions forward) and physical sensation. Focusing my awareness on the physical energy as it peaks and then passes, and gently helping it to dissipate up or down, is way more effective than trying to ride the monkey-mind-mobile.
9. That I love being with someone who is non-judgmental – about me, about other people. Thank you, H.
10. That being brave and going for what feels right but scary, is a thousand times more rewarding than trudging along the expected path.
Which of these was the best thing I learned about myself this year? Hmmm. They are all pretty good, actually. This was a big year for me to grow. I’m grateful for that.
But I’m going to choose being honest about my desires and what feels right, communicating them honestly, and going after them. Because I think that is the thing that has held me back the most.* My therapist has told me that I am extremely talented at worrying about how others will react to my thoughts and actions, and modifying my life to make it comfortable for them. I’d like to change that, and I know it means I will have to deal with some other people’s messy feelings sometimes.
How will I apply this lesson going forward?
When faced with a decision, I will think about what I am after and why. Am I being true to what I really want? To who I really am? Am I being honest with other people? With myself? Do I feel scared? Is it an excited, oh-my-god fear, or a whoa-that-doesn’t-feel-right fear?
This is as true for career stuff and having-a-baby stuff as it is for relationships, I think.
* Of course, many of these things are interrelated. For instance, one of my fears about expressing my desires is that I am making myself vulnerable, and that I will just feel too sad if things don’t work out, especially if I am rejected in my desire. Working to dissipate my emotions helps with this. And of course, expressing my desires means I am not being a pissy codependent, and is rather impossible if I’m not in tune with my physical and emotional selves. Etcetera.