2020 began like most years – full of hope and promise for the future. As a collective, there seemed to be a bit more intrigue and energy around what 2020 would bring. For me, 2020 felt like the year I had finally finished the marathon and could truly begin to rebuild. True to form, I had a handful of New Year resolutions that had been rolling over for the last few years and my annual travel plans. On one hand I was in a “New Year, New You” headspace while simultaneously planning for a year of business as usual.
In February, I was in LA on a whim with one of my besties who was there for business. I just knew that our drive down the Pacific Coast, with the wind in our hair, would be a metaphor for the rest of 2020…
Well, 2020 turned out to be a psychologically and emotionally tumultuous year for me. Perhaps, not for the obvious reasons, but the pause allowed me to really examine this life I had created. Don’t get me wrong, my life is beautiful – I have loving relationships, a successful career, and happy children; but, even a rose has its thorns.
With limited access to friends and family, I joined a virtual bookclub with a few lovely ladies in May. Our first book was Taming Your Outer Child: Overcoming Self-Sabotage and Healing from Abandonment. Just as the title suggests, the book turned out to be a doozy; especially, during the pandemic! Through my reading and fellowship, I realized that I had a long-standing pattern of disconnecting from my negative emotions in an effort to maintain control. I spent several decades crystalizing this practice of abandonment and betrayal by not allowing myself to feel. Thus, inhibiting me from building authentic relationships that could withstand the ebbs and flows of life. I thought that if I allowed pain to enter, my heart would break and I would not recover. I knew my inability show up as fully human would continue to impact every area of my life; especially, my relationships. I knew that self-acceptance was critical for me to become the woman I am being called to be.
Even with all of my Oprah and Deepak Meditations, self help books/courses and my personal spiritual practices, I knew I needed additional support to move forward. I was referred to a therapist by one of the women in my book club. I consider working with my therapist as one of the greatest gifts that I have given to myself. I learned through my work with my therapist that my inner critic ran deep. Just imagine the number that the inner critic does on a person who already struggles with self acceptance. Year after year I would engage in a self-sabotage olympics in all of the areas that were most meaningful to me – prioritizing my health and fitness, legacy building and being in a healthy romantic relationship. My therapist’s big assignment for me was to let go of any opinion or judgement about my thoughts. She asked me to notice the thoughts and decide how I wanted to move forward; so much easier said than done! Shoot, judgement is in my DNA. Determining what’s right or wrong is in my DNA. Judgement had kept me safe and in good standing with others for many years and she was asking me to let that go. I knew I had to give it a shot if I were ever to truly breakthrough to another level of greatness.
Whew, this practice was life-changing! In the last few months, I have made significant progress in all three areas of my life. Today, I feel unstoppable mainly because I understand how deeply held beliefs can stifle or catapult you into another realm. If 2020 taught me anything, it is that the only way forward is through!
Happy journeying! And let that ish go!