Loving choices are not easy to make.
They sometimes require that you use your voice in full and in other moments they ask for only your silence.
Knowing the difference is what makes all the difference.
That was the lesson I needed to learn this year: how to use my voice and perhaps more importantly, how to believe in it.
So many bloggers are likely taking to the ‘sphere to talk about the things they learned and what blessed them about the year. I feel compelled to do something a little different.
I do have many things for which I am grateful so please know that my heart is full, but it’s because I first had to open it, which was what made this year so memorable.
This was not a banner year. It was filled with upsets, broken dreams, re-evaluations, redirection and painful comeuppances to the beliefs I once held as true. If you asked me at my darkest time, I would have possibly said that it was the year everything was ruined.
But that’s what made it so beautiful, looking back now.
It was the uprooting of almost everything in my life because I uttered the words last winter that I was ‘ready’ to let go of things.
By age 26 and in one year I closed the chapter on a marriage, a home and a once-promising job.
Not willingly either.
To say that I felt like the worst of failures, despite some stunning achievements, would be sadly accurate.
I definitely went kicking and screaming, even though I wanted change. I just didn’t think that change would require so much of me, first. While I know change to operate differently, I somehow thought that it wouldn’t ask so much of me. I still believed that it would come quietly, though in the end, I was the one who had to come quietly.
Through each one of those losses, I was given back a part of myself that’s prepared me for the next step. The big manifestations are just starting to arrive and I can already see how the person I was a year ago would in no way be able to handle what’s here now.
I would not have been able to tolerate how good it is.
When we talk about our happiness and the hope of its delivery, we think about the stuff, the experiences and the people we want by our side but seldom do we consider the people we first have to become in order to handle all of those things.
Think of it in terms of baking. You love cookies so much that you want to double or triple your recipe and in order to be able to handle all that soon-to-be-cookie, you need a bigger container.
I made vision boards, saw manifestations down to the exact model of some electronics come into my life but I relied on how small I played before, when really, those kinds of dreams required me and my life to be a bigger container.
And that’s not to suggest that we shouldn’t want happiness because truly, its arrival can come with trumpets, red carpets and fireworks. It’s beautiful. For me, it came quietly as I unpacked more boxes, faced my fears while staring into the dark of fall mornings which tasted like fresh coffee and spent time listening to the pain I was trying to run from. And I can say with my whole heart, that it’s beautiful. All of it.
Happiness is our natural state and whether we like it or not, it finds us.
It finds us in the hours we spend awake in the dark, tears creeping down our cheeks, asking why we weren’t enough and questioning whether or not we are. It seeks us out in the moments we don’t understand what to do next, but know only the deadline by which we’re forced to move forward. It finds us when we least expect it.
But it always finds us. I know because it found me.
Relentless bugger, that happiness.
There’s a quote by Rumi which states that our job is not to seek love but seek within ourselves the barriers we create that shut it out. The same, I learned, is the case with happiness.
Happiness is worth searching for and it finds you, only when you have the courage and patience to ask what you do in its presence and what barriers you’ve created against it.
If the chase were half as exciting as the end of the journey, we would all probably have what we wanted all along. It’s in the uncovering though, the eleventh hour, the tough choices and the uncertainties that we’re crafted into the people who can handle all that good, because for most people, life is an exercise in protection.
The least of those protections being happiness.
The highest among them being love.
We shut it out so we don’t have to feel the sting of its absence, not realizing that what we mistake for its absence, is more happiness that we have to remove barriers to.
Not everything in life will leave us in rapturous fervor, but I can say with the certainty that comes from firsthand experience, that how unhappy we think we are, has everything to do with those barriers we’ve created for ourselves.
So, going into this new year filled with promise and the hope of what’s to come, I want to remind you of these things, which I only found through losing almost everything. Literally the only things that were the same in my everyday life, by October were a handful of friends and family. I had to lose it all to understand what barriers I put up within myself.
Happy New Year Readers!
May 2014 be the most blessed, overflowing and wonderful year for all of you.
On The Wings of Miracles,