One day, not long ago, while looking up information on how to create a Vision Board, I came across a wonderful blog that is now part of my daily reading. Christine Kane’s blog has been a consistent source of inspiration for me, and I look forward to trying something new for 2009: choosing a word for the year.
My Word for 2009 is RELEASE.
While thinking about my word, I can think of several parts of my life where RELEASE is necessary: excess weight, pain from the past, low self-esteem and stuff/clutter.
Excess weight has always plagued me, but over the past three years it has slowly started coming off. I still have a significant amount to lose and I know exactly what I need to do: eat right and be active. However, knowing what to do and actually doing it are two entirely different animals. I also need to look at the reasons why I overeat. I know that I am an emotional eater, so being honest with myself about these reasons is a major part of letting go of the weight.
Low self-esteem is directly tied to my excess weight. I am confident that as the weight comes off, the self-esteem will rise in proportion.
Releasing clutter is not new for me. Fortunately, over the past two years, I’ve been getting rid of a lot of stuff. Clothes, dishes, cds and dvds, knickknacks and books. It has been cathartic and a great relief. Cleaning the house is much easier with less stuff around. I’ve grown used to the calming effects of simplicity. Continuing to release stuff will be pretty easy. Plus, it helps to know that when I donate these items that are still usable, their life can continue on and perhaps benefit someone else. Besides, getting rid of unneeded stuff is a must. Our house is on the market and I am confident that it will sell early in 2009. Downsizing from this 2,000 square foot house to a two-bedroom apartment requires paring down.
Releasing pain from the past will be my biggest challenge. As Joan Didion said, “I’ve learned that you don’t actually get over things. You incorporate them. They become part of everything you are.” When I first read this quote, I felt dismay at the thought of not being able to get over the pain. But, the more I think about it, the more her quote makes sense. For me, “getting over” something would mean essentially forgetting as if the something never happened. Unless I have my memory erased ala Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind memory cleanse, I will never truly forget the pain. This is reality. In time, the pain will lessen and will not be in the forefront of my mind. I guess this is how it is incorporated into my life. So, yes, Didion’s quote seems about right.
To validate my acquiescence, I came across another quote. This one, from Byron Katie, says, “Whatever suffering we feel over things that have already happened is nothing more than an argument with the past.” Wow. An argument with the past. Talk about a lightbulb going on over my head! For me, “arguing with the past” is exactly how the pain feels. The present and the past are confronting each other in my head and heart. Unfortunately, I’ve been allowing the past to win the battle too many times. It’s time to let the present celebrate victory.
It begins today, January 1, 2009.
© Liz Rotundo