Consider and record your wishes for the new year.
Hopes never come true unless we name and acknowledge them. Life isn’t “the secret.” It’s not. We don’t “put it out into the universe” and expect results and answers to come back to us. Naming a wish is step one, and working toward it is steps two through ten-thousand, every step after that, and that’s where the work is done. I promise the universe will give you all the help it can. But you’ve gotta want it and work for it and wake up every day excited to go get it. If you aren’t, hey, don’t you think the universe knows that too? State, record, and make real the wishes you have for 2013 by giving them physical form and power. Write them down. And then begin.
Reassess the hopes you had for 2012.
Do you make yearly resolutions or commitments? It’s not time for the new year yet, but the introspection and focus that comes with the holiday season is the perfect time to reflect on how well we’re doing with our wishes. Are you still living intentionally, acting toward your goals for 2012, or have you changed directions? And it’s so okay to change. Things change. The things I wanted, the things that inspired me, and the priorities I had were really different at this time last year.
Are you careful what you wish for?
Recall a time when you got an outcome you thought you wanted, but later realized it wasn’t what you really wanted. I’m trying to do a better job of realizing the difference between what I think I want, and what will make me happy. I try to ask, what will create an outcome that is compatible with the values and goals of my life right now? Why do I think I want this? What are the motivations behind my desire?
Five wishes for myself.
1. That I see my life and my accomplishments as the independent acts of bravery that they are.
I often compare myself to other people–especially women who seem like they have what I want. Reminder to myself that I have enough. I am enough. I always learn the hard way that my attempts to imitate the people I’m honored to be inspired by is only robbing me of my own potential. What helps me come back to appreciating myself is turning off the voices and influences coming from the outside–emergency resuscitation of my self-esteem means staying off the internet. When I envy people who show their happiness to the world, that robs me of my happiness. It is so much easier and fulfilling to be happy for them, be grateful for the gift of joy they’re sharing with the world, and project my own authentic joy in my own way.
2. That I always try to speak positively.
I’m part of a huge network of local women and we’ve been actively speaking positively about others. That’s all. That’s how it started. We were discussing how we tend to use gossip as a way to gain power as women, and agreed that speaking highly of each others skills, talents, and good deeds could have a gigantic impact on our culture locally. It also changed me fundamentally, and by speaking more positively I also started thinking more positively. I really believe that everyone has something awesome about them. Something they’re really proud of that deserves to be appreciated. I’m so motivated to share those things and show the world how powerful it is to embrace and celebrate what others do.
3. That I always embrace the opportunity to speak and share, remembering that so many people weren’t able to.
This year I started talking for the first time about some of the most painful moments in my life, particularly about abuse I endured from an ex-boyfriend. I have stories to tell, I have support to give to others who can relate to me, but I hesitated to share because I didn’t have the words yet. In an effort to seem positive–actually, in an effort to seem agreeable, likable, in an effort to not “cause a scene” or come out as another shrill angry feminist voice–I buried the reality of the abuse in my past for years. A huge portion of my life. I wish I had chosen to face it when it happened because the perpetrator could be in jail. I wish I had decided to face it later out of self-respect so I could better know and develop myself as a whole person, with no part of me suppressed or denied. I wish I had decided to face it when I gave birth to a daughter, and all I wished for her was for her to be stronger than me, braver than me, wise. To have all the intelligence and emotional arms to own her life in the face of the pressure to accept a role she never chose. The truth is that I did not face the truth of my abuse and accept the process of healing until after I met my attacker again by chance, and the pain came back in a wave of fear and anger and anxiety and confusion and guilt. It forced me, unwilling again, to make the abuse real by knowing deep down that it did happen. It led me finally to open up about my experience as a survivor, as unresolved as it is. When I find the words now, I let them come out, because there are too many women–and I could have been one of them–who keep them inside forever.
4. I want to identify something I can do that I just enjoy.
When I try to think of a hobby or a passion I pursue just for fun, I come up empty. Everything I do is either to make money or motivated by political passions or some kind of righteous indignation, and this tells me that I desperately need to diversify my sources of happiness and well-being. Everything I read is basically stressful. I hate to cook. I’ve trained myself to only associate crafting with income. What do I just love to do? And why am I denying myself? Figure this out, Meg.
5. That I pick my battles wisely with those I love.
Because whatever problem I have is almost never actually about them.
However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. it is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in Paradise. Love your life.
-Henry David Thoreau
If you have any thoughts about today’s post or reflections about “wishing” in your own life, I’d love to read them in the comments below. Thank you for reading. Thank you so much.