For the last three years I’ve taken a walk on New Year’s Day and let the first animal I see be a sort of symbol or totem for the year—it’s a practice I learned from Liz Gilbert. I’ve seen a goose, a rabbit, and even a squirrel and looked up the spiritual meaning in my totem. This year it didn’t feel totally appropriate, not to mention we had an inch of freezing rain…but I wanted to do something different. I’ve been feeling stronger and, at the same time, more vulnerable. So this year, I wrote myself a letter.
This body. I’ve cut you. Starved you. Filled you with garbage. Hated you. Been embarrassed by you. Wished you were different. Said awful things about you. Swallowed pills to forget about you. Used you. Berated you. Never knew how to handle you. Tried to come to terms with you.
I’m sorry. None of that ever worked, so this year, I want to try this different. I want to love you and appreciate you. You’re alive and functioning and healthy—and I thank you. You’ve helped me see the world, conveyed my soul. You’ve given me pleasure, brought me my son. You’ve healed—over and over again. And you’re still beautiful. You’re strong. You’re healthy. You’re going. You carry the scars of your living. And your heart is still full of love. I love you and thank you.
This mind. I’m working so hard to forgive you. I can understand you’re doing your job, but you have inflicted so much pain on me. You’ve allowed me to process and learn so many things, yes, but you’ve lived in an endless pit of fear and self-loathing. There are days I’ve felt helpless to you and trapped by you. My body and soul a prisoner of your bullshit fear and anger. Again, I know some of that can’t be helped. I truly hold NO ill will over that. But we need to come to a new arrangement.
You cannot run this show any longer, running so rampant, wild like my son, bouncing from one thought to the next before the first one is finished. We will hear you, but we will no longer act from you. Your energy and ability is so much more potent than that. I can’t let you waste away in fear and worry. Let’s explore the magical depths of this world. The depths of what we can create. Let’s learn to feel again. No distraction—actual feeling. Sit with these feelings for the first time, ever. No surface, all the depth.
This past year, this terrifyingly beautiful 2020 miracle of a disaster—we are here now. We have purpose and the ability to see our drive through. We have learned appreciation on an entirely new level. Hope, perseverance. I’ve learned that all we need to do is make room. Create the space for who we are. Break the box and live. We die in our comfort zones. This past year has shown the toxicity of this comfort zone. The desperate need to do something differently.
We have all the tools to do this in another way. With love, hope and compassion, for the good of all. Mind, I love and respect your power. Let’s try to harness it to more productive efforts. We can do this. We will do this, one choice, one breath at a time. I love you and thank you. I will process my emotions, I will be clear on what I want, I will be clear on the life I want to create. I will focus my energy on what and let the rest fall away. I’m healing. I’m getting well spiritually to build a stronger base for myself and to be a more loving, caring person and mother.
I’ve controlled every aspect of my life because I thought I had to be perfect so the people around me had to be perfect too. That demand for perfection isn’t love. So I will make a quiet transition to acceptance. I need to be a better partner. To myself and my family and friends and co-workers, and staff. To be more present and accepting is a more peaceful, honest relationship. I will stay the course until I find my peace and then I will blaze my own trail. To an authentic New Year—welcome.