We sat in a cafe talking about our year. Me, a nobody with a little label. My friend, the founder of a multi-million dollar beauty brand gone global. On the outside, we don’t have that much in common. But we do share the same faith and are guided by common values.
When I asked how 2017 had gone for her, she didn’t hold back on both the good and the bad.
The encounter was brief, but I feel that hearing her story and sharing a bit of mine, was the most healing thing that had happened in the past few months.
The same feeling of relief washed over me when I read Lisa Bevere’s Without Rival just days earlier. A book about embracing ‘your identity and purpose in an age of confusion and comparison’, I found Bevere’s honest and broken revelations incredibly reassuring and empowering.
The fact that she openly and in such a gutsy way, shared her life’s challenges – right down the most intimate of details – made me realise I’d never get anywhere or help anyone if I continued to life and operate in the same paradigm as I am. You know…. Keeping people at arm’s length (because you never know when they’re going to cut you off or use you). Never telling my story (because they’re going to judge you). Generally, not wanting to rely on others (because they’re going to let you down). And that whole thing of pitting and comparing yourself to others (why bother, you suck anyway).
A few days ago, I was riding home in an Uber when I heard a little voice in my heart tell me, “Just drop it.”
It was such a voice of peace and security, not one of fear, desperation or exhaustion. Just drop it.
It being all that you would have read in the previous handwritten post.
Where my word for the past several years would have been ‘escape’ and all the connotations that come with it, I no longer want to escape. I want to live free, untethered, un-weighed down by all the toxic feelings and situations I/we tend to want to take responsibility for.
So done with that.
In 2018, I’m inviting more balance and lightness into my life. In the words of Lysa TerKeurst in Uninvited to ‘live loved’. That is to say, operating with grace, being ok with who you are (and being unafraid to show it), remembering that you’re not forgotten or left out, and to see things as falling in place (instead of merely falling apart). x
Can you read my writing?
IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED THIS YEAR
The phone works both ways Never let yourself be guilted or manipulated by people who take and never give, only to play victim when you walk away from their toxic game. As a mentor of mine rhetorically questions, why are we nicer to people who mistreat us?
Just show up Whether it’s for a one month year old’s party, a friend’s engagement brunch, a wake or a wedding, success in maintaining life’s relationships pretty much boils down to just showing up, I think. You may not have the right things to say. You may be internally griping that you’re wasting a perfectly good Saturday morning, or that you’d much rather be in bed. And you can forget worrying about bringing the perfect gift. I learned while looking around me at our weddings, that all that matters is the people in the room with you. Whatever they were feeling that day, they chose to be there for you when they didn’t have to. And if you can’t make it, for goodness sake, send a card and flowers, would you?
It’s all going to come out anyway You might as well just be your real, fatally flawed, deeply feeling self from the start. The truth is going to scare who it needs to scare and ultimately, attract the people who are really unafraid to love you as you are.
What did you learn this year?