Happy New Year!
I’ve been on the fence for the last few days about the theme for my first post of 2015; did I want to do a full year recap of what I was going to leave behind, hitting on the highs and lows or did I want to talk about the New Year and my hopes and dreams. Decisions, decisions.
While out for a run the other day, I noticed when the song The Dog Days by Florence and the Machine was playing in my earbuds. There is a lot of speculation around the meaning of this song, my guess is that there is some truth of domestic violence within its folds, but it was the following lyrics that really hit me in the heart:
Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can't carry it with you if you want to survive
Even though I’d played this song hundreds of times, I suddenly heard it in a different way; it really felt to me like an appropriate call to action for the New Year.
“Leave all your love and your longing behind…” As I thought about this line more, I couldn’t help but start to list things from my past, and not just from 2014, that I may still be dragging along with me. Deep hurt, disappointments, victim stories, resentments and the like. I carry these things in an invisible sack that I hoist over my shoulder and bring with me from place to place, conversation to conversation, everywhere I go; these are the stories that affect and instruct, at some level how I act, react and respond. Given the challenging circumstances of the past several years, I wondered how much of this old stuff I was still dragging along with me and what elements I should really be carrying into the New Year “You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive”
So I sat down and looked back over the last several years. I began to list the places, within me, where I’m still healing. I actively looked at and chose to make peace with many of those tender parts of my soul. So the big question for me is, what do I still need to look at and what else can be left on the doorstep of 2015?
On New Year’s Day 2013, I wrote a post called “You Can’t Heal what you Don’t See” (You can read it here) In this post, I explore a bit about the thought behind using ignorance of our pain points (aka “get out of jail free” card) as an excuse not to look in the mirror and assess what stories and behaviors are likely holding us back. That is the real message here. You cannot “Run fast” for yourself or anyone else nor can you create real shifts in your life, shifts that will lead towards your dreams, if you are still carrying junk with you.
I believe that this is the crossroad of physical and mental wellness. As we drag along our bag of junk, we wear ourselves down, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Overtime, because we are carrying so much heavy stuff, we may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. (and PS – there is always a light, we just don’t always see it) To keep ourselves healthy, we need to evaluate and re-evaluate what is contained within our bag. (Note: I'm not referring to mental illness here)
So what does this all really mean? For me personally, this means that I’ve got some exploration to do, some self-excavation, and some deep soul-searching because I want 2015 to be a year like no other! I am ready to soar and don’t want to attempt lift-off carrying more than I need to “if I want to survive”. I hope for you, this sparks some thoughts and ideas, some evaluation or exploration as well. This isn’t about ripping off the Band-aide, this is about being gentle and forgiving, not harsh and judgmental because those negative feelings will only increased the load for you to carry.
And don’t forget to celebrate; you’ve made it through another year! That’s big stuff, seriously! There have been many times in the past several years, where I wasn’t sure I would actually make it to the end of the year. I’ve heard from many of you how 2014 was that kind of year for you and just crossing the threshold into the New Year was a significant accomplishment. Congratulations!
This year is going to be THE year to start putting our visions into action, make the changes we’ve been wanting and live our best year yet! The more we leave behind, the lighter we will travel towards our destination!