2022 was fucked. There's no sweet way to say it. It wasn't filled with all of the vacations, weight loss, success, flowing bank accounts, love, or things I had hoped for. And I thought for a moment maybe I was the only one who had such a rough time this year, but after reading everyone's 2022 recap posts on social media...that wasn't true.
Here's the truth: In 2022 I met the most broken version of me. On New Year's Eve, I had my Facebook memories remind me of a decade challenge that I had done a few years prior. Where you recap your life from 2010-2020 and the events that happened during those years. At the end, I of course, included the part about how hopeful I was for 2020. ha. 2020. I had no idea what was coming.
That post inspired me to update what REALLY happened in 2020, hell what happened in 2021, & 2022. And it wasn't fun or pretty. It was intense highs and lows. Powerful years, yes. But not quite what I had been hoping for. I will say- when you walk through hard shit you have two choices. Fight or give up. And over the last 3 years, I've done both.
See, I'm ever the optimist. And each turn of the new year, I go into it with a "here's to a new year and new chances and hope.." mindset. In the last three years, I have hoped, fought, practically begged, and ultimately lived in so much fear. I've ripped apart everything. I've won. I've Lost. I've Hoped. And I've fallen into the depths of hopelessness.
But here's the thing. I'm still the optimist. Despite all of it. So in the spirit of finding the light in one of the darkest years of my life, I want to share with you a perspective I gained.
I had to break. I had to break because I was holding up walls that were holding me in.
I had to come face to face with my own darkness. I had to see the darkest version of me. Talk to her. Because for so long I feared her. I feared feeling & thinking about the things she possessed. Her intensity wasn't something I felt anyone could love. Her grief was something I was afraid would swallow me whole. What I didn't know, was there was a gift inside of my brokenness. And that was meeting the most authentic version of me. Falling into my darkness also meant stripping away everything else. All of the fluff. the noise. I stopped chasing my dreams. I barely showed up in life. I didn't text back. I believed the vicious lies my fear told me. Which made me withdraw more. I let those fears create doubt. Doubt in myself & doubt in others. I lost myself. Who the fuck was I outside of my job, my friends, my kids, and my husband? What did I believe in? Am I the kind of person who gets to succeed? Am I worthy of my own ambitions? Am I fucking capable of them? Why does anyone even love me?
I learned that when you push enough people away you start to believe no one cares or loves you. And when you sit with those thoughts- you get to know yourself in a different light. What matters to you, if you don't have to worry about what others think. What motivates you when you aren't performing for everyone else? When you're not doing things for approval or acceptance anymore, then why are you doing them?
BAM... suddenly you realize how much of your life you aren't living for yourself anymore. So where does the light come in? It's with ME. The true me. I discovered more about myself sitting in this space than I ever thought possible. I realized how unaligned the life I was living was with the life I wanted. I realized how often I made choices and did things to try and "earn" praise from anyone other than myself. I realized how often I lived in a reactionary mode. And then when I started asking the questions, what do I even like? Who am I? What do I want to do? I realized in this broken space, I was giving myself permission to start fresh. To be intentional with anything I put into the world beyond this moment. When I tell you it was dark, it was dark. Someday, I will tell you stories of the depths I sunk to. But just know, even today, I am still healing from it. Mental Health is real. Our minds are powerful. And being at war with your own is a battle you can't be prepared for. Even when hope feels impossible, there were incredible moments. I am really proud of the work I put in to learn how to truly love myself. Realizing that loving myself, would be the key to how I get to serve and show up in this world. I had to realize that as long as I tried to pour from the empty cup, I wasn't giving anyone anything. Healing for me, was breaking. Sitting with my hurt instead of running from it. Offering myself grace and love. Humbling myself. My hardest year was the birth of the beginning. The transformation. xoxo