The Christmas and New Year period can be a difficult time for some of us.
This year has been difficult for me personally. It’s the first year I’ve been alone.
Aside from that, it’s a strange week regardless.
Everything is weird.
There is significantly less traffic on the road.
My gym has been closing early each day. Much to my despair.
The supermarkets are jam-packed as if the apocalypse is upon us.
The days seem to drag on whilst we wait for the “new year”.
The “new year” where we make promises to improve our lives in some way or another.
Last night, as I sat in bed, I was overcome with a familiar feeling that I so often push away. A feeling that a lot of us are too ashamed to admit to at times.
The feeling that no one cares.
I decided to meditate, and focus on bringing love into my life. Desperately pleading with the universe to send me a sign that I’m not all alone.
At the end of the meditation, I had a notification on Facebook.
From my friend overseas.
She had replied to a question that was asked. About her most memorable travel moments of 2014.
Here it is below:
I don’t know what happened to me when I saw her comment.
I was completely overwhelmed with emotion, and I broke down.
And then I had a realisation.
The other day, on my private Facebook wall, I shared a video from the actor Jim Carrey.
And there was one sentence that really resonated with me.
“As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and working toward it while letting go of how it might come to pass.”
Now this is exactly what had happened. I had sent my wishes out into the universe.
And I got what I was looking for.
The validation that I am loved. That I’m not all alone. That someone in the world cares about me. Even if we are separated by oceans. However it came to pass.
Like the author Haruki Marukami says, “whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting”.
We truly have to open, not only our eyes, but also our hearts, to what is right in front of us.
Now I do have to say one thing.
I am deliberately a recluse. I’m one of those “creative types”.
It is maddening to a lot of people, that I often shut myself away in my little world, and protect my delicate, and sensitive heart from a lot of things.
I am a difficult friend to have.
My aloofness masks the overly sensitive woman I am. The brave warrior that I allude to be.
The drama queen.
The one who cries way too much for a grown woman.
The one who judges herself harshly.
The one who clumsily falls, and often stubbornly refuses to ask for a helping hand. And even when she does, she won’t take the advice offered.
The one who wears her heart on her sleeve. On her forehead in fact.
The one who is a marshmallow at her core. Who is afraid of rejection, to the point where she locks herself away in her safe little bubble to avoid the possibility of it at all costs.
The one who pretends that she is strong. But is anything but.
This evening, as I sat down outside to write this piece, my next-door neighbour called out to me, and asked me to join her, and her family for dinner.
I declined, as I am the first to admit that I suffer from shyness, and often feel like a bit of a pain in the ass.
My neighbours husband comes out now, and tells his wife that I’m just “too polite”, and that I do want to come over.
I insist that I need to sit this one out, and finish working on my article.
A few minutes later, their teenage son brought me a chair to sit on.
I always write outside. One of my many quirks.
And I sit on the ground to do so.
“We don’t want you to ruin your spine”, my neighbour informs me, as I begrudgingly accept the chair, my eyes welling up with tears, that I am so thankful for my sunglasses at this point so they don’t know how much their kind gesture has moved me.
Because I feel as though I don’t deserve it.
And then I had another realisation.
It is only ME, that holds me back from seeing the love all around me. It is only me that feels as though I don’t deserve kindness, love, or compassion. Even though I offer up all three traits quite freely.
And I have to come back to the two motivating forces that I so often write about.
Fear. And love.
It is my own fear, and perceived inadequacies that hold me back from not only recognising, but also accepting the love that is all around me.
That prevent me from allowing people to “take my hand” (or bring me a seat), and show me how much they care.
So my message today, is to open your eyes, and hearts to what is all around you.
If only you don’t let fear take the helm of every experience, and twist it into something else that is so far from the truth.
To the friends that I “count on one hand”, that my father often reminds me are so precious, I thank you to the moon and back for not giving up on me. For not judging me, and continuing to love me. Despite all of my flaws. Real, or imagined. You mean the world to me. In fact, you are my world. My weaknesses are also my strength, and I thank you for reminding me on a daily basis that I am loved. You are loved more than you could possibly conceive.
To the people who have crossed my path during this year, I also thank you. For revealing hidden layers of myself that I didn’t even know existed. You all have a place in my silly, overly-sensitive heart.
And so the improvement that I personally plan to make in the “new year”?
Man, there’s so many.
But the main one is to let love be the motivator.
To understand that I do have love all around me, and to start accepting that love, and stop being so hard on myself.
To know that the effect that I do have on others is the most valuable currency I have. And that I should continue to remain light-hearted, and forever youthful and wide-eyed, and continue to share my story.
And to take that seat when it’s offered to you.
However it comes to pass.
“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. Because everything you gain in life will rot and fall apart, and all that will be left of you was what was in your heart. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach, and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it. You will only ever have two choices. Love, or fear. Choose love. And don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.” – Jim Carrey