The beginning of the year heralds not only the start of the next year, but also my birthday. Each New Year brings me to a nostalgic place full of reflection. For the last 4 and a half years I have been setting goals to become the best version of myself.
It really all began, ten years ago with a silly chain questionnaire and two honest responses. These responses haunted me. The question was would you be friends with yourself. I answered no. It was honest and true. I didn’t like myself; I had never and even though I was included in this chain with many of my friends at the time I felt more alone than ever.
The second response came from a friend. It took my breath away. The question was what is your biggest pet peeve and her answer was people with self-pity. I remember thinking she was talking about me as I read that response. Of course she wasn’t; but self-centered goes with self-pity and any reason to hate myself more was always welcome.
At first I didn’t know what do about it except let those honest answers to silly questions gnaw at me. Life kept me busy, twins came, we moved, but then as the dust settled I was faced once again with my low self-worth.
If I had to describe myself to others at that time I would have said; I am a lost and wayward soul just like anyone else. I do the best I can in each next moment, but I am mostly empty when I should feel so full.
I didn’t like that description, but I knew it was within my power to change it.
I made a decision to find out who I was and to be myself out loud. I was tired of hiding and hating myself. Thus this blog was born. It led me to open up every inch of my soul and pour it out.
Putting my heart into action became a practice; I did random acts of kindness on my birthday. Two years in a row I spent the day delivering gifts to others on my birthday because it was what I wanted to do more than anything else.Holiday Cheer was born.
It led me to tell the world about my ability to speak with spirit and my business was born. This need to be who I was out loud led me to quiet the voices that worked against me in my own head. Therapy, anti-depressants, self-loathing, fitness, healing and then the weight gain…I lived it all out loud here.
As my birthday and this New Year comes round again, I found myself again at square one. Silly after all this growth to somehow feel at the end of last year that I was back at the start.
I felt as if I was hiding more than showing up. That I was retreating and giving up more than finding the next step forward. And those honest answers to silly questions rose to haunt me once again. But this time there was an added haunt…I had someone recently tell me, “Why do you have to be such an overachiever?”
It stung. I wasn’t sure why exactly, but I think because it is true. This need to over do all the things; this force that if I am not doing it all then it is not enough always propelling me forward.
I am tired and unfortunately my health is taking the toll of my need to do all the things. My body physically can’t handle it any more.
As I sat down to make goals for this year; I found myself with writer’s block and it wasn’t the first time – I have several blogs still in my drafts folder because I couldn’t find my own voice enough to finish them.
I am tired of being sad when I should be happy. I am tired of being tired. I am tired of not showing up completely. I am just plain tired…
The answer was simple.
It was right in front of my face, but I just couldn’t see it. I looked up from my computer to the goal sheet from 2017 that still hung on my cork board. The beautiful chevron white gold tack gleaming like a beacon. Even though there were only 4 goals; there were sub-goals below detailing each one. A total of 20 goals to complete for 2017. Not all of them simple. While some of them were completed; it hit me that no wonder I always feel overwhelmed. No wonder the simple always seems so hard. Busy had become my default; filling time meant I wasn’t being still or quiet. I was hiding all over again; but this time just behind doing things. Adding things to a list; crossing them off only to add more.
I started to get still and quiet. I started to meditate again and think about the thing I most wanted in life. It was simple. I want to be present. I want to live. The past is the past and there is nothing I can do about that and the future is almost certainly out of my control, the only real thing is RIGHT NOW.
When I sat still and quiet and brought into view the RIGHT NOW; I envisioned a table.
My table was full. My family all in their chairs. Abundance overflowing on the table. Beauty, sustenance, love, friendship, all surrounded by green hills and the ocean. I could hear laughter and feel growth and success, but something seemed off. One chair at the table was empty. I looked around and everyone that should be there was there. Who was missing?
My family was there. Friends; check. Jesus; check. All my important people and beliefs were all accounted for. “Why is one chair empty?” I thought.
It was then that I realized I was witnessing all of this and seeing all the people there. My viewpoint was not one looking across the table but from above. I was not seated at the table. I was the one missing from my own life.
Ah, I was hiding in the busy-ness and not showing up for the best part; the RIGHT NOW. I was missing from my own life. My seat was empty.
To actually take a seat; I had to figure out why I had left it in the first place. Why was I really hiding?
Stupid, silly, life-eating shame. My weight kept me from showing up. The fact that I have a job with negative connotations; one that God may even dislike, kept me from showing up. I cringe when someone asks what I do for a living.
On top of that, life was happening so fast the mom guilt of not being present for my kids was eating me alive. What would my kids remember about me? Would they just remember that I took them here and there and nothing of substance? That I was always too busy?
So, this year as I reach my fourth decade; I choose to take that seat back. I want to be in the RIGHT NOW. How do I do that?
It all became clear at a funeral the other night. My wonderful, beautiful friend stood and spoke about her father. He had told her at the end that he was confused why everyone thought life was so hard. It is easy he told her; you just have to go out and love others. That was the secret to it. There was nothing hard about it at all. My heart burst open. I can do that. But there is more than loving others; that I have figured out. My chair was empty because I wasn’t loving myself enough. I needed to love everyone; me included.
Just as the day before, I had chosen to be grateful instead of begrudgingly taking down the ornaments from the tree as in years past; I was grateful I had a tree and ornaments to take down. I was grateful for each memory that came with each ornament. I was thankful that I had a home and a family and memories that surrounded me as I carefully put away Christmas back into its boxes until next year. I have woken each day grateful for another moment. And that is what fills my heart each second. I am grateful for the RIGHT NOW. While I am grateful for everything that also means, I have to be grateful I am me. To treat myself with love and grace.
The only goal for this year is that I live in the RIGHT NOW with no shame.
This year I am going to tell myself it is okay.
It is okay…
to feel lonely sometimes
to be scared
to be nervous
to try new things
to decide not to try new things
to live in the RIGHT NOW
to let the past go
to let the future be what it will be
to hide when I need to
to show up
to believe I am meant for great things
to believe I am worthy, as I am, in the RIGHT NOW
to use my armor when I need it
to live outside the lines
to believe in a Jesus that guides me through what I do every day; even speaking to spirit. In fact, to believe in a Jesus that knows I am doing the right thing.
to believe in miracles and magic
to laugh, live and love
to always take my seat at the table
to be my own advocate
I was watching a video with Brene Brown and Glennon Melton and they said that an eviction from your live is an invitation to heal yourself. Invitation accepted. This year the focus will be on me and that is not selfish, no self-pity or shame will be attached to that.
I will heal myself; and live in the RIGHT NOW. There is no limit to what you can accomplish when you are your best advocate; when you are seated at the table in your own life, present and ready to live each moment the best way you know how.
Wishing you a RIGHT NOW, shameless, grace-filled, love abundant 2018,
8 thoughts on “A Seat at the Table”
WOW. Brilliant. Way to start a New Year…for all of us! Thank you.
With love, respect and appreciation……
Looking forward to seeing you on the 25th!!
Love you dearly! Can’t wait to see you.
Such a wonderful post! Admire your vulnerability and ability to put it all out there. I too know I was hiding and not showing up to the fullest. I am learning to love myself – meditation, yoga and waking my dog daily is helping me to stay in the moment and focus on self care without the shame and guilt. Off to find the video! Looking forward to see you shine in 2018.
Thank you, luv. The video is a course I was taking through Brene Brown’s website. I am not sure if the course is still available but if it is it will be under the coursework on her website.
What a beautifully authentic & real post. Looking forward to seeing you enjoy your seat at the table & bathing in the love from family, friends & yourself. Thank you for sharing. 💗
Thanks, Janessa. Hope all is well with you.
Love this post. You are “enough”. In fact, amazingly way more than that, if you could see you from where we see you. I know that your 4——- year will be one of your best. I learn so much in each post of yours I read. I am going to do my best to apply your teaching to my life in 2018 and have a great year too. Love you…. Can’t wait to celebrate you birthday with you this weekend!!!! Love you!
Thank you. I hope this is a good year for all of us. I am looking forward to this weekend as well. Love you!