Rituals and routines have had the second greatest impact on my life in 2020. The largest impact was therapy (as much as I thought I didn’t still need it). But for a reason that perhaps might be surprising. It was helpful because I heard myself repeatedly say that I was doing really well. That I was coming to appreciate who I am. That I felt like I was whole, rather than broken. And someone who is healing rather than someone who is damaged. In the last therapy session for the year, one of the topics of focus was how I’ve entered into a sensation of feeling so very good about who I am and about how I am living my life that I was uncomfortable about the lack of trauma. Not drama, mind you. Trauma.
By which I mean, I can recognize my old habit energy and patterns and see where I am now disrupting them with something new, something that serves my life now, rather than the scared child I’ve carried with me for so very long. Something beyond the history of trauma responses. Something that sees through the subtle ways in which those traumas carved channels into my thinking in ways I thought were innate to my being fucked up and broken. Seeing that one thing with a stunning clarity — that who I have been makes perfect sense when looked at through the lens of a history of trauma rather than through a belief system that was grounded in my being mentally unstable and damaged — broke open an entirely new paradigm for my life.
I’ve come to understand the agency I have in my own life, the ways that I can choose differently and allow myself to heal and recover. That I actually LIKE who I am and have far more compassion for myself (and therefore others) if I can let go of all of the programming I had mistaken for my own identity.
I enter into 2021 with a deep and abiding love for this person I have started to see more clearly, for myself. And with no illusion that my work is done or that the path ahead is all rainbows and unicorns. Yet with a steady faith that the experiences of joy and wonder and awe are as core to my being as are the anxiety, depression, and melancholy that have defined my life for so very long. This journey fills me with an endless sense of humility and, most of all, an abundance of gratitude for every person who has held my hand in a million different moments of grace along the way.
Wishing each of you all the wonder and joy and grace in the world.
[Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash]