I’ve done a lot of thinking and journaling about what 2010’s intention will be. I wrote pages upon pages while The Swell Season sang in my ears and the ocean roared outside and three of my best girlfriends chatted in the other room. I holed myself up and hunkered down because I felt adrift and uncentered and small. Sometimes I wake up in that feeling and have to write my way back to my true self. Does that ever happen to you?
I started this “setting an intention” ritual back in 2006 with a list and as the years progressed, I fine tuned it. 2007 was the year of acceptance. 2008 was my year of gumption. 2009 was all about putting myself first. And looking back on each year I can see how that intention weaved its way through my days. My intention sets the tone for the year to come.
As I wrote in my journal on New Year’s Day I sensed a theme emerging in what my pen put to paper. I wrote about everything I’ve learned about myself and how practicing self-acceptance, employing gumption and challenging myself to finally put myself first has opened me up to a truer version of myself than I ever thought possible. The fact that I am able to say that I love myself is something I could not say five years ago. It is no small statement when I say: It has made all the difference. I am not perfect at it. But love is not perfect.
I spend a great deal of time in my therapy sessions cataloging my fears because, despite how I might appear to the public, my confidence is not always strong and my self-doubt nags at me. A lot of the time I feel clenched up inside of myself. My mind never shuts off. I’m perpetually in self-protection mode. I hang on to a lot of hurt.
I want to be free of it.
Something I’ve never been very good at is letting go. I’m a controller which I’ve talked about a lot here. How somewhere a long time ago I got it into my head that if I could control my world, I would feel safe. I could make everything alright. An effort in futility is more like it. It’s impossible. A set up to fail. So I never feel successful. And I never feel safe despite exhausting myself in the endeavor.
I do not want to do this anymore.
I carry a lot that is not mine or old stuff that no longer serves me. I want release from this. I want centeredness. I want to let go of always having a plan, of anticipating what is next, of go go go, of outrunning my own heart. I want to learn to be okay with not feeling okay, with feelings that are uncomfortable without pushing them away or covering them up, with the unknown. I want to be braver and more true to myself- the self that doesn’t feel compelled to fix everything for everyone. The self that finally knows what it feels like to relax inside.
And so. . . 2010 is the year of letting go.
Here’s to the next leg of the journey. Wish me luck.
*From an e.e. cummings poem I love.