No splashy title or academic know how today. Instead I want to talk about my 2017 Resolution. This year, I decided to cry. It’s simple and necessary.
Every year past I remember waking up on January 1st and thinking that this was going to be MY year. Every year, the same resolution to lose weight, exercise, and be healthy. Every January 2nd, I joined thousands of people making brand new subscriptions to the local gym and every year, I joined thousands more on February 2nd when I stopped going.
In 2016, I decided to try a new resolution that was on a better track and more achievable than ever. I decided to make 2016 MY year by actually working for it. In many ways I can look back on a year and indeed a life that is worth more value than I can add up using numbers. In 2016, I started my journey into private practice with Compass Counseling. That same connection brought the beginnings of the newest dream, becoming the Clinical Director of a PTSD center. Just before the year ended, I started a collection of stories for a book I am writing on the healing power of horses from a unique angle. That same week, the outline brought me in contact with a stable and a potential new journey into equine-facilitated psychotherapy. None of this could have happened without trying.
Despite all of this, I still found it difficult to stop comparing myself to others. In my office I can tell clients all the steps needed to stop comparing despite not using these same proven rules in my own life. I compared myself to everyone and the problem is when I did it, I compared their best to my worst and that is a self-imposed and unfair fight.
Despite all of the accomplishments in media and in presentation, I still found myself an emotional wreck of excess baggage. I felt numb to a lot of what I saw, heard, and felt. I asked myself what was missing. I worked harder in 2016 that perhaps my collective 36 years prior. Yet no matter what, I was held back by something in the pit of me that gnawed away. Then it occurred to me what I was missing…
Not honesty as in a lack of integrity, genuineness, or truthfulness. If you ask me a question you will be told the truth. The problem was I was still lying to my emotional self. I held back excessive emotion because I was afraid that if I opened the flood gates, they would never close and I would be destroyed. The irony is that I needed to cry more than anything in the world. And on January 1st, with my darling wife in another state visiting a friend and getting some desperately needed rest, I sat alone and thought about everything. That week I spent cleaning the apartment in a fanatical, yet controlled manner. The truth was I was really cleaning myself. The sparkly apartment was simply a nice bonus.
So I sat down and did what I promised I would do. And yet it never came. I was trying to force myself to do something that requires a natural and organic release. I sat back and did some thinking about what was hurting inside. Then it began and admittedly took a while to stop. I did the same on January 2nd before leaving to get her from the airport and did it again today in my office on break. I found something out that was simply impossible before being emotionally honest; that release was desperately needed.
I feel refreshed and alive for the first time in at least two decades because finally I am clearing the emotional baggage and seeing the real me. Underneath that baggage was some hurt and some joy, but regardless of what was uncovered, it was genuine and real. That I am thankful for every day.
When we release bottled up emotions, it hurts. There is no way around it and no nice way to soften this fact. It hurts. But the end of hurt can come. Always take care of yourself and do so safely. Use help when needed and available. A friend, family member, or even a professional can help you be you and be safe. Maybe your resolution is to laugh instead of cry. I say go for it. But whatever it is you need to release, let it be real and always remind yourself that if you are hurt, YOU DESERVE COMPASSION AND HEALING.
So if your resolution is to be healthier then I salute you. If it is to find a new job, lose those stubborn pounds, or learn a new skill…GO FOR IT. But if you are stuck and emotionally blocked, maybe a part of your resolution is to make sure you have a good cry.
You are always important and always deserving. Even if it is cliche, there is at least one person who knows that to be true.
See you next time