Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Old Baggage and Boogers

We as a human collective attach a great deal of value to the transitional shift of time in our celebration of the New Year. We take the past year and all it held, and put it behind us, sweeping it under the rug to some unknown place as we countdown the arrival of the new year. We look to the New Year as a fresh start, a new beginning to get things right, live happier lives, accomplish more, make better choices.  For me, I'm realizing I've seen each New Year as a rung on a ladder, another step in the journey of my life; but this is inaccurate. Every day of every year is a rung, a step in the journey. We place a great deal of stock, hope, and expectancy into a better and more prosperous New Year when if we held that same excitement, anticipation and motivation for change every day, our lives may be more fulfilling and happier. What an incredible burden we put on the shoulders of the New Year and Father Time!

Since my divorce, New Year's has historically been a bummer for me. Unless I had the distraction of a celebratory activity, I've spent New Year's Eve at home alone, wallowing in the hurt and lost of opportunity of New Year's Eve 1996.  On this particular night during what would be the last year of a struggling marriage, my then-husband called to inform me he wasn't coming home after work (we lived 45 minutes in the country) but rather going out his “friends” for New Year's Eve. I'd planned a nice dinner for us in the hope we could say farewell to a rocky past year that included a miscarriage, a regrettable purchase of a money pit, stressful renovations, and all the strife within our estranged relationship. I felt hurt and abandoned.

In the fifteen years since my divorce, I've spent more New Year's Eves home alone than not. In the past few years, I began the practice of making a list of all the positive things I'd accomplished, joyous moments, and positive experiences of the soon to pass year to help lessen the New Year blahs. Only this year, despite a positively wonderful year, I was left feeling unsettled, the blahs heavier than usual.  A couple of days ago, it was as if the spirit of New Year's Eve Past arrived to show me the vividness of New Year's Eve, 1996, bringing it to me front and center in the consciousness of my mind. The memory of my ex's phone call; the place I stood in the kitchen when he told me he wasn't coming home; the tears I cried over the kitchen sink; the realization (which I quickly shoved into denial) I was losing my husband.

For whatever reason, the Spirit of New Year's Eve Past took me back to this one night of heartache to face it after sixteen years; and to deal and heal this piece of my past.  Like so many others each and every New Year Eve past, I shoved it “under the rug," the depth of my unconsciousness, repressing the bad memory, the hurt without gleaning from them understanding, wisdom, or finding forgiveness and healing. I unconsciously hung my “pity party hat” each December 31st on this one event of my past for fifteen years.  I've been unconsciously wallowing in and/or running away from that one holiday eve experience, which in a sense is what we all tend to do as we ring out the old and ring in the new? Now it registers as an energetic blip on my awareness radar, and so my healing around it is a work in progress.   

The problem with running from our past experiences, mistakes and choices is that a chase ensues; the old baggage will not let up on us, and is always following us as we move into each new year. Only until we are willing to stop, turn around and confront that from which we are seeking to leave behind in the past year, it will chase us into each new year. We must embrace what we are running from for it is a part of and the point of our journey – to learn from it, grow from it, and choose anew as a result of it. 
Here's another off-the-wall way of looking at this: Old baggage that we drag into each year, most often unconsciously, is like a sticky booger we can't seem to get off our finger. Only until we stop and look purposefully with intent at the culprit to see what it is about and where we are in relationship to it, then we can figure out how to be rid of it, once and for all.  In doing so, we may go about the business of living our lives booger/baggage free.

Facing and acknowledging past hurts, disappointments, and less-than-stellar choices allow us to become friends with it, and leads us to forgiveness, and greater love and acceptance of ourselves and those players in our past.  It can also provide us with an appreciation of the insight of wisdom which frees us to move forward in our lives to bigger and greater experiences of joy, abundance, and love.

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