I know for many, 2013 was a very unbalanced year full of incredible change and challenge. 2013 was no different in that respect for myself. I learned a lot about myself, who my true friends are, and what I am capable of overcoming even when I am ready to just lay down and surrender to the pull into darkness.
Every time we go through challenging situations, we are forced to grow. Sometimes we are forced to grow because we end up so broken that we have to grow new parts to be able to glue the pieces back into a semblance of ourselves. Sometimes we are forced to grow in a new direction because the direction we were headed becomes glaringly harmful. Sometimes we are forced to grow because we get kicked to far out of comfort zone that we have to learn how to fly. The end result is an evolved version of our former selves.
As I look back on 2013, here is what I learned:
1) Embrace the pain. I am chronically in pain. From what I have been told, it has now been too long for the pain pattern to actually reverse. There is a physical change that happens in the brain that holds the body in this pattern. This is something with which I am learning to deal. I used to be upset by it as it felt like my body turned on me. Now I look at it as a reminder system to be kind to myself.
2) Be a passenger. Going from someone who was talented at making things happen to someone whose world got so out of control with very little that I could do about it – that was a huge learning curve. I had to learn to trust the universe and be okay with letting things unfold. As my acupuncturist told me, be a passenger in the universe’s limo for a while. Just sit back and observe things unfold. There is a path laid out for me that is going to happen whether I try to force my way through it or just chill out and go with it. I have to practice this every day as my natural instinct is to grab the wheel and try to take over.
3) Make a wish. I started a funny thing after my friend’s birthday this year. I kept one of her candles and started making a wish on it daily. This also applied to any other candles that I blew out. Putting an intention out there, whether it be a wish, a prayer, or a beg, helped me focus on what I need. Reminding myself everyday of the positive change I sought after the dark overwhelming change I had been through this year was helpful. As a result, I am starting the new year with more work, community, and partnership than I ever dreamed I could have.
4) Ask and you shall receive. I had always been shy about asking for what I need. The last quarter of the year, I started doing this. I put my request for help out to anyone who I thought would be able to or would know someone who could help me. I hit a few dead ends at first. At least that is what they appeared to be. Then, suddenly in those dead ends, a door appeared that opened up to incredible opportunities. By me asking for help, that request stayed in the back of the mind of the person I asked. When the opportunity I desired came up, I received communication that they had something for me.
With 2013 a day in the past, it really seems like a far gone dream or nightmare depending on the day I look at it. I hated much of what I was put through this past year while I was going through it. However, now I am thankful. It was rough, but I learned and grew much more than I imagined I could. I am so much calmer about everything now and see obstacles only as a challenging growth opportunity that I will emerge from the better. Onto 2014!