"There is nothing so cleansing or reassuring as a vicarious sadness." David Rakoff
Onward - a word for the year. It's time to move on. It's time to move. It's time. Onward we go. Letting go of things or people who do not serve us can be one of the most challenging and liberating things we can do for ourselves. We can spend so much time trying to rationalize, make things or people fit, hold on when in reality often the solution is the simplest, that people or things are not supposed to be there and we need to let them go. I have found that some simple distance is exactly what is needed to recognize the lack of reciprocity. How different do we feel to be separate from people or things. If we notice there's a shift in our contentment, peace, or joy - for the better - that's a clear sign that whatever we've taken a break from is probably a cause of some unnecessary stress, hardship, or discontentment. What's the logical solution? Let it go.
Walk away. Give up on people. Wash your hands of experiences that are too messy. Effort, energy, and mess are to be expected but having to make excuses or to rationalize situations or connections is excessive. It's not supposed to be that hard. It's not supposed to always be challenging. It's not always supposed to be work. There's a serenity of ease, of effortlessness, of simplicity. Maybe we shouldn't be pushing, struggling, or exerting so much effort. Maybe we shouldn't have to try to make things work - sometimes they just do. That's okay too. When we have internalize that struggle is a normal part of life instead of a potentially fleeting occasional experience we come to expect it out of everything. Life is not meant to be suffering. Life is not meant to be endless hardship. Life is not supposed to be impossibly complicated. Ease is life also. Prosperity is a possibility. Thriving can be default instead of surviving. Those things can be belong to us when we cleanse ourselves of things that we can control and their impact on our lives. Wash it all away.
Starting a new year strong can mean so many different things. With technology and social media as major parts of how our life experience is facilitated - especially as of late - being intentional in how we permit it in our lives is crucial. With it all continually threatening to dominate our lives setting limits, making time to disconnect, and adhering to personal boundaries matters now more than ever. With boundaries comes hopes, aspirations, and attainable goals. What are we willing to put our energy behind this year? How do we want to transform? Who do we want to be by year's end? Why? What is our plant to make it happen? Who or what will keep us accountable? How will we give ourselves grace, express gratitude, and honor our efforts along the way?
Purposefulness - an active thought and choice-making process. Doing things with purpose changes how they happen. Instead of going through the motions of life and living, we choose to be full embodied and present in all that we do. When we're fully there we can get so much of out of our experiences and guide them with meaning. When we're clear of our purpose we act accordingly. We adapt and take note of things that deviate or distract from our purpose. We have clarity after cleansing. Things become easier to notice after everything else is washed away.
We get to curate what and who we allow into our lives and who has access to us. A brave way to do that is to evaluate people's profiles, their posts, and how their interactions make us feel. If its not immediate joy, contentment, or thoughtfulness then I unfollow them. There are too many times where something pops up on our where feeds where we wonder why we follow an account. That's the question. We don't feel good seeing you or your content. All that is brought is unrealistic portrayals of life, attempts to sell envy, and unsettling disingenuousness. We deserve better. We want reality. We can ensure that's what we're seeing as much as possible.
The influencers that disrupt our happiness and instead play on insecurities to make us want staged existences, advertisements featuring models peddling products all on the extreme end of the unattainable bell curve, and thought-promoters that lack nuance, gravitas, and necessary intersectional context that ignore significant difference, life experiences, resourcing, access, etc. - why subject ourselves to it all? We don't have to. We have the power. We can just delete them. We can unfollow, unlike, unsubscribe, block, hide, mute, etc. The more we do it - the easier it becomes. We no longer hesitate. We just hit hit the button, and move on. There's no remorse, no regret, and no nostalgia. Immediately we get to feel lighter, happier, and liberated. People don't like confrontation and its rare that they will follow up with us, but if they do we can just be candid with them. We don't know them, or even if we do, we didn't find their content enriching, uplifting, or useful. Hell, if I don't add to your life, inspire you, make you think, shine light into your life, unfollow me - you get to choose who lives in your head and your heart. We get to wield that power, and use it often.
We have to make room love. We have to prepare for novelty. We have to embrace curiosity. It's when we are most open to difference that newness comes our way. So much of our lives is spent in the maintenance of the familiar but we're not meant to stay stagnant. We're not meant to get stuck doing the same things over and over while expecting change. We're not meant to stay stationary. We're not meant be the same as we always were. Change is life. Life is change. We have to make change happen. So often we idly wait for things to be change around us - it happens sometimes, but the only way to ensure change is to make change for ourselves. That's agency. That's power. That's ours always and always, as much as our circumstances and abilities allow for. Things change when we decide they do.
We don't have to wait. We don't have to hope, wonder, or wish. We don't have to accept "don't" - sometimes we really just can. It's us. It's about us. It's about what we're feeling brave enough to do. To say no. To say yes. We get to change our world around us with our decisions, our choices, and what we permit. We can reject things or people that aren't quite right for us, and say yes when there's opportunity to try new things. We might be pleasantly surprised with who or what avails themselves to us when we're prepared to embrace them. Life happens, light happens, and love happens not just when we least expect it but when we've made way for it to reach us. Some things have to be moved for a clear pathway to us to be available - are we prepared to cleanse to make that way? X