The Year of Love

Last night a big number rolled over in the calendar. As the new year started I found myself sitting on my couch starting to have a pity party for one. Then I remembered that being alone on this day was actually my choice. I was offered a plane ticket to New York for New Years. New *freaking* York! But I made a choice. I decided to spend New Year's Eve at home in favor of a trip out a bit later when it coincided with a work event. Though it's much more cool to be in New York when the ball drops I made a choice that supports me for the longer term. Um, does this mean I've finally reached adulthood?

As I sat pondering all of this I found myself doing what I'm wont to do when there's something on my brain. Turning over word combinations in my head I decided to write. Although most of what I write never reaches anyone else's eyes I thought I'd share it with the hopes that maybe you'll relate to it. I'm not going to pretend that I have something novel to say about the new year. It's just really me talking to myself as the appointed 2013 hour arrived.

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Dear Suz,

Remember a new year started--not a completely new life. Sure, you can go ahead and make those resolutions to run climb another 14er and save 20% of your income. In addition do something that’s really powerful. Something that will power everything else in your life.

Let this be the 365 days that you really love yourself. Love yourself enough to:

Take small, reachable steps rather than HUGE leaps.

Let go of stress of any form.

Save more than you think you need. This will give you more options and freedom.

Appreciate every scar, crease in your face and every single failure. This means you're really living.

Be kind to yourself.

Allow yourself to be upset from time to time.

Just be upset. Don’t get upset about being upset.

Not worry about that other shoe. It's dropped many times and you're still here.

Be willing to face others disapproval, especially when it means you earn your own.

Remember to stand strong for what you want.

Cook more often. Despite what your first boyfriend said--your food is edible.

Smile more often. It really does make things easier.

Not worry about those little rolls of flesh that pop out over the top of your pants.

Focus on what you have in your life. Practice being grateful every day.

Be unabashedly you.

Be open to love from wherever it comes.

And most of all remember this. You don't have to all of these at one time. Just do one little thing each day that brings you more love and happiness.

Love,
me

11 Important Lessons I Learned This Year

June 2011 really sucked. Sorry. I'm doing cold immersion into this blog post just the way it happened to me. Three endings happened in rapid fire within 2 weeks leaving my life unrecognizable. It was a simply awful time in my life. Usually I might try to pass of this kind of life suckiness with a bright "I'm fine!" but there was just no getting around this particular cluster. There were times I wished I could have jumped in a time machine that would take me to one year in the future. But since that technology hasn't been invented yet I lived through it...one day at a time.

As I look back a year later ultimately my life is 10x better because of those endings and the new beginnings I created as a result. There were many insights that came to life. Thought I'd share 'em with you just in case they might be helpful to you one day. Or, this day.

1. The more control you try to assert the less you actually have.

2. Drama is a luxury. One you can't afford. Especially Other People's Drama.

3. Trying to control yourself in a relationship will kill it. Let be what it is.

4. When three separate people urge caution about a person--believe them.

5. You're always worth way more than you think. Ask for more.

6. It always takes much longer than you think. 8 times as long. Factoid from: Deep Survival

7. Self-respect isn't just important. It's the only thing.

8. Conversations that start after 11pm never end well. Don't start 'em.

9. Things just work or they just don't. Forcing something is just sheer folly.

10. Being gifted is a gift. Embrace your natural talents. This is how you'll be successful.

11. Today is the only one you have.

On Self-Respect

"Self respect is a discipline, a habit of mind that can never be faked but can be developed, trained, coaxed forth." Joan Didion

A while back, I had a conversation with a friend who said she had trouble loving herself just as she is. Well, she liked most of herself but not some parts of it. This makes me so sad. Not loving yourself in the very moment you're standing is just no way to go through life. While you may love everything about yourself except for your thighs that's still a problem. Um, because they're a part of you and you're a whole person. It's not like you can just take them off when you want to right? This is a clear lack of self-respect.

Unfortunately my friend is not alone.  Many people I suspect feel this way. I'll be happy with myself when I'm x lbs. I'll truly accept and love myself when I meet the person of my dreams. I'll be lovable when I have that killer designer wardrobe. I'll feel ready to make a big move when my revenue reaches x. It's so easy to fall prey to the someday illusion.

Admit it. You've done it right? I know I have. The thing is it's just an illusion. Once you get there you'll discover another plateau while staring off at a new mountain to climb.

The answer is not waiting until you're perfect to be present to your present, to love yourself, to have happiness. Appreciate this moment exactly as you are and exactly as things are.

Perfection is just a perception problem. That's right I said it. Your perception is off. You're not seeing the world through the right lens. Rather than rose colored lens' you're seeing it through more like a murky shade of brown. Perfection is in the moment, not in some far off artificial landmark you create.

It breaks my heart to hear someone hating on themselves. It breaks your heart when you do it too. Every time you resist this moment of you a little tear develops and weakens you. Please don't break my heart or yours.

If all of this hasn't convinced you yet, consider this:

When your parents had you they didn't think, "This baby kinda sucks but wow he or she will really be great when they're an adult. They'll be perfect when they stop pooping and eating and crying." They thought: Look at this perfect, beautiful creature we just brought into this world. He (or she) is perfect in this moment. All shriveled up, crap all over you, screeching so loud you could break some dogs ears.

Remember that the next time you want to hate on yourself or the current moment. Again, I call on the wise Joan Didion:

"To have the sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent."

Don't wait to respect yourself. Self-respect is the foundation for success and happiness. Do it today. Actually do it right now in this moment. Just appreciate who you are and what you have in the moment you find yourself reading this little ditty.

I'll wait.

There.

Doesn't that feel much better?