I’ve really enjoyed the downtime over the holidays with my family and friends. We’ve relaxed, slept in, traveled, attended fun parties and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I also spent a fair amount of time scrolling through social media (something I hope to do less of in 2018!) and one topic that kept popping up over and over again in my newsfeed was setting intentions to let go of broken relationships in 2018. More people than I can count were posting musings of how they plan to let go of negativity, to forgive and forget toxic people, and how they intend to be happy despite broken relationships. Here’s one I came across – (I posted a few more below):
*If you owe me, don’t worry about it, you’re welcome.
*If you wronged me, it’s all good – lesson learned.
*If you’re angry with me, you have won.
*If we are not speaking, it’s cool ~ I love you and wish you well.
*If you feel I have wronged you, I apologize.
*Life is too short for pent-up anger, holding grudges, and extra pain!
Here’s to 2018! Happy New Year!
The holidays can be a lot of fun, but they always seem to bring out people’s deepest pain and regrets – many of them involving other people. Failed friendships, divorces, family disuptes, backstabbing coworkers and ongoing grudges are awful burdens to carry into a new year and we so badly want to toss it all into the nearest garbage heap. Wouldn’t it be great if it were that simple? And we are acutely reminded of those who are no longer with us. For me this year, it really hit me hard having both parents gone. We finally closed out my mom’s estate this year and it just felt so, well.. final. Of course it can be fun to reminisce about all the fun times and successes of the past year, but for most people it’s not all rainbows and unicorns (despite the sugar-coated content of their Christmas cards). We also experience failures and losses we’d rather put behind us, not to mention the things we wish we could change – or failed to change. The new year offers us a chance for setting a seductive pie-in-the-sky goal of a baggage-free fresh start.
For me, though, I’ve never found it to be that simple. I really try, and I want to untangle myself from all of those pain-in-the-ass burdens that hold me back, the people who judge me a little too harshly, ask too much of me, can’t be happy for me when good things happen, or can’t seem to treat me with the basic respect I deserve. Of course the new year gives me a time to draw a line in the sand and really put my intentions behind creating change where I can, to set myself free. But relationships are complicated. You don’t always get closure. People can be assholes. You try to do the best you can, but even when you’re doing your best to reach a positive outcome, you still don’t always get closure. And people are still going to be assholes, even after January 1st. So how do you move forward with a positive mindset when these things don’t magically resolve themselves like you want them to when the new year arrives?
This year, instead of deluding myself into thinking the new year will suddenly grant me a complication-free existence, I resolve to allow myself to feel the pain, hurt, sadness, anger, and the resentment as it comes, allow it to pass, and then show myself the loving compassion and forgiveness I need to heal. And then, hopefully at some point, I can move forward and release all of the things and people and situations attached to these negative feelings. It won’t be fun, but I can commit to it if it means I can get a few steps closer to the positive changes I wish to see in my life and do right by myself. I also resolve to put down my phone more, be present, really listen, forgive, ask for forgiveness, feel joy, be proud, laugh, enjoy nature more, and put more time and energy behind the awesome relationships that bring me happiness and fill my soul.
We can’t please everyone, we can’t beat ourselves up over and over for not being what someone else wants us to be, and we can’t always take the blame for whatever goes wrong in a relationship. But the one thing we always have control over is to do right by ourselves and put our own happiness first. Rather than being focused on pleasing others or doing whatever it takes to keep the peace, I vow to do what it takes to take care of myself and make sure my own needs are met. Being a woman with many, many years of religious upbringing I was always taught that it was the Christian way to to put others first, be generous, to give more than you take, and “turn the other cheek” even if it means sacrificing your own spiritual and emotional needs. Well, that would work great if everyone else subscribed to the same philosophy, but they don’t. People can be assholes. So for 2018, I vow to start fresh, envision what I want my life to look like and go about the hard work it will take to get there, step by step. I’m blessed with many great people in my life and I know my wonderful, awesome, amazing friends and family will understand and support me. Hopefully our reflections at the end of 2018 will yield more love – and less brokenness.
From all of us at My Local News – Arizona, I hope you have an oustanding 2018!