Continuing the weekly arguments that 2016 was not all bad, I’ve created a series of posts designed to exonerate the year. This is the seventeenth installment in that series.
A year ago this week I processed so much anger that my journal overflowed with self-treatments. When Danielle asked “Where do you feel the pull to rebel?” I wrote:
Against people who want to control me. Against anyone who makes me feel expendable or disposable. Against any advice to falsify my presence or impact.
When she asked me to describe how my heart felt that day I responded:
Resolved to be valued. I want to associate with those who find my talents and skill set valuable — something to be preserved and protected.
It is NOT okay to threaten me in order to change my behavior. I will not be ruled by fear. NOPE!
When she tasked me with naming my desires I answered:
Choices. Options. The liberation of speaking the truth even when it makes people uncomfortable.
Forgive over and over.
Forgiveness is a practice. We have to keep doing it over and over, not just once and not only when we feel justified. Control freaks are motivated by fear of losing control. I have to forgive them for being afraid. However, I am not a pawn of someone else’s fear response. It is not okay to make me afraid so that others can feel less afraid. I have forgive them for doing this whether they know they are doing it or not. But even so, it is not okay to submit to being bullied or manipulated so that they can be comfortable.
After I wrote it all out I implemented the forthcoming forgiveness in this blog post. This process was powerfully transformative because I allowed myself to feel each part of it, and feel it fully. No self-flagellation for my anger. No regret or self-shaming over putting myself in this position. I felt it. I acknowledged it. I handled it. Eventually I let it go and moved on. I walked away from it in love rather than in anger. In 2016, I mastered the denouement.
A year ago this week I went out of town on business and laid the foundation for a new friendship that would take almost a year to fully manifest. That friend is now my new pre-dawn walking partner. She meets me at 5:15 am every morning, rain or shine, and together we methodically put away a brisk 5k before our respective workdays begin. A year ago this week I didn’t think things like this were possible for me. These were perks other women enjoyed; not me. I had situational running buddies but a commitment? A daily? Nope, not me. I believed myself incapable of attracting or keeping a running/walking partner, which was why I never acquired one. In 2016, I took baby steps to get out of my own way and welcome the chance to stand corrected. I found a splendid way to be dead wrong and be happy about it. I was wrong in 2016.
Yes, it was a hell of a year. I was mad enough to shit-can the entire year in 2016 before we ever made it to the half-way mark. But perhaps I needed to get that mad to find my way the insights I wrote in the wake of it all. So once again, it was not all bad.