She looked beautiful as always. Her long curls cascading over her shoulders in a new deep caramel color. Always dressed casual chic, she exudes charisma and sexiness although based upon the conversation does not see herself that way. It is obvious that happiness feels as if it is elusive, and figuring out how to be happy hasn’t been a priority. Life has gotten in the way. Kids have gotten in the way.
When asked what makes her happy, her focus was on things outside of her, mostly seeing her kids successful or happy. Although those are, I’m sure things that contribute to happiness, I have learned that we also have to make ourselves happy. Happiness is a choice built by positive self talk, open heart, etc. That doesn’t seem to be where she is and she isn’t sure what she needs to get there.
As we were discussing all of this over drinks, I wanted to help her. I shared my big themes for 2017 (I had just created them!)hoping that this would motivate her to think about what she wanted in 2017 for herself, not her family, for her. It backfired on me! Our discussion moved to me. She was all over my first theme, Love! I shared that I wanted to give love more freely, more broadly and become much more open to receiving love. She laughed! “I don’t know how you could give love more freely, but yes you need to be much more open to receiving love!” At first I laughed as well. She’s right, I’m not great at receiving love. It is something I have worked on a lot over the last few years, that open heart needs to be to receive not just give love.
I wanted her perspective so I asked why she felt I don’t receive love well, what is it that I do. Besides the norms, I don’t ask for help, I don’t always let people into my struggles. I am not great at accepting compliments or loving comments. I push them off as if people only say them to get something from me. I am skeptical of motivations, given how I have been hurt this is still something that haunts me.
Her comments hit right there. She looked at me with love and tears in her eyes and said, “I think you are so afraid of being hurt that you find excuses not to get close to people; to not let people in. I think that is why you choose not to have a real relationship again, afraid to get hurt. So you make excuses as to why you can’t meet people or why the people you meet are just friends, nothing more.”
I can’t argue with anything she said so I took a sip of my vodka. She immediately was concerned that she upset me or I was angry. Not at all I told her. I want your perspective and I think you are probably right.
When I got home that evening I looked at my journal where I wrote my big themes for 2017 and some of the details behind them. There was Love at the top of my list. The first words after Love, were receive love. Let people in. I smiled, realizing that what she said only cemented that I need to focus on this for 2017. I let people in only so far, not to the depths of my soul like I did with my ex-husband. I let him in all the way and he used all of that against me. I am sure that is why I find the excuses she shared.
As I am developing my vision for 2017, my themes and actions to move me closer to the person I was meant to be and the purpose I was meant to share, Love remains at the top. Receiving love and not allowing excuses of the past to get in the way of love is where my focus needs to be. My other themes that build off of love include health (being the best me I can be); abundance (making space for more); creativity (both in my writing and in my work) and adventure (to wander and create fun). I let her comments sit with me for the week along with these themes. I thought about what all of this together meant for me and I have come to a mantra that I will use for the year.
Stop wondering and Start wandering
I see this as a way to stop excuses by stopping the wondering, no more questions, more diving in. More wandering into places I want to go but have stopped myself, whether that be for love or for creativity or adventure. These words will remind me to stop using my excuses to stop me and to start just going, just doing. Go it alone if necessary but go.
My friend is like a sister to me and I am so glad she made me really think about love and the excuses I make. It made me realize that I make excuses around more than love and for 2017, those excuses are going to be challenged! Through our conversations I think we made some headway on some things she could as well, so perhaps it didn’t backfire completely! I helped a bit, but this was definitely night where I was the recipient of love and friendship. I was open to receive and did.
Stop wondering and start wandering! Here’s to 2017!