I could have written a post about how well I met (or didn’t,
as the case may be) the goals I set in early January, but I doubt my
yoga attendance record or attempts to address my tendency for lateness are of
much interest to anyone but me. What I’m writing about, instead, is what I’ve
learned this year. Because the truth is, the challenges are always more
interesting than the wins (right? right?).
1: There is no one thing that makes everything perfect
In theory, I already knew this. But I had to
experience it again to really understand it. Allow me to explain.
For years I’ve been banging on about how finding a
partner is not a magic formula for happiness and purpose, as it’s our sacred
responsibility to create these for ourselves. Even though I believed this devoutly,
there was still a part of me that believed love would somehow cause some deep
transformation that would result in me becoming a better, more confident, altogether
more complete person. So when I found myself in a relationship this year, for
the first time in many years, guess what happened? Nothing.
I mean, lots of stuff *did* happen – don’t get me
wrong, loving someone and being loved in return is wonderful and deeply
satisfying, and I am very happy – but it turns out I am still the same person as I was before I met
him. I’m still battling insecurities, afraid of my own inadequacy and
struggling to find my way in the world.
Without realising it, I had been looking for the one
thing that would make everything perfect. That’s a pretty familiar MO for me,
actually. Over the years such searches have included: cutting out gluten (it
will make me feel so much better!), taking overseas trips (it will help me find
myself!) and lastly, meeting someone who would sense in me something special,
something that I wanted so badly to be there… and was terrified was not.
A relationship, it turns out, does not so much fill
the gaps in yourself as much as expose new ones. This is as true about love as
it is about losing weight and getting a new job. Changing yourself has little
to do with changing your circumstances, and significantly more to do with
changing your thoughts and beliefs. And gratitude, always gratitude. There is no one thing, and there is no perfect. The best
work I’ve done in terms of my personal growth, this year and all years, had nothing
to do with any other human. And that’s as it should be.
2: It’s OK if people don’t share my opinions or beliefs
I don’t know when or how this happened, but sometime during
the year I stopped giving a fuck about how people responded to what I do. I used
to avoid discussing One Grounded Angel, fearing the disapproval of others. This
did me an enormous disservice, and possibly also others who might have needed
some of the messages I was passing on. I suspect this reticence to be seen
diminished in direct proportion to my sureness about the value of the
information I’m passing on.
Of course, the more ‘visible’ I became, the more I
became exposed to criticism and negative opinions. My viewpoint on such matters
has always been this: what other people believe in is none of my business. I
won’t say it doesn’t upset me when people post messages telling me what I do is
bullshit but I would like to think I’m better at not taking that personally. This
is the mantra I intend to carry into 2017: I do not need the approval of people
who do not approve of me (that’s a life lesson from George Michael, by the
3: I have failed, but I am not a failure
I wrote about this at length in a June blog post (read
it here) so I’ll keep this to a brief summary. I had to change tack halfway
through the year, as my reiki practice rooms failed to attract enough clients
to be profitable. This stung. I felt personally inadequate, as if this lack of
success were an indictment on my own worthiness. It took a period of healing
and gradual acceptance for me to realise that this was not the case. This failure
does not make me a failure.
Everything has played out exactly as it was supposed
to. I don’t know why just yet, and maybe I never will, but I do know that
venture was not meant to be. And that must mean something better is coming.