Ten Lessons I Learned in Two Zero One Seven

They all point to ONE truth

In numerology, ten is one. 2017 is one too. First. The basics. The beginning. It was an interesting year.

Who am I kidding? It sucked a lot— it was a really effing hard year.

I took a Family Communication class in college and in it I learned not only about Interpersonal Communication, but also about how that communication happens in a family, how each person views life differently. Some of us see life in the context of events which affect our behavior. I think I’m one of those people. I introspect and see patterns. My thoughts, feelings and emotions toward the patterns inform how I behave in the world.

In 2017, two major life events happened, and they centered around my mom and my daughter — the two most primal relationships of my life.

My beloved mother is on her way out of this world, losing a long battle with cancer. She’s fought hard and is now surrendering to it’s grip on her mind, body, emotions and spirit. At the same time, my daughter embarks upon growth, deep change, a settling of her own spirit, adulthood.

While I try not to get too sucked into the myriad feelings I’ve felt throughout the year and still feel today, discernment and emotion are two separate conditions of the heart. If I told you I was killing it, I’d be lying. Honestly, I’m sick of myself. I’m tired of the sadness, but I also see that it’s inevitable, and it’s shaping me into something new. Here are a ten lessons I learned in the year of ONE, that ultimately point back to ONE truth.

You can’t force people to behave the way you want, or do things you want them to do. And most of us unconsciously try. We see life through our own eyes, and we think others see it the way we do. But we are all different.

Everyone is doing the best they know how. I’ve been amazed (and not necessarily in a good way) by the behavior of others this year, but I’ve come to recognize that each of us is doing what we feel best and most appropriate given our individual circumstances.

Our pain is ours to bear. We should lean on others for help, and people do care, but our pain is just that — ours. This has been a hard lesson; I’m still working through it. We are not alone, but we do go through our pains individually, hopefully with the help from others. Perhaps this is the fruit from which compassion grows.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. (Haruki Murakami) Truth. It’s all about surrendering to what is. “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” is a great quote by Wayne Dyer that helps me realize there are many ways to view a situation.

Every day is just a day. We can choose to let ourselves get dragged down by life or we can choose to lift ourselves up and do better. It’s about taking each moment, each breath, each day as it comes.

Some days will be too much but you will get through it. Feel the pain. Cry. Openly receive the necessary hugs. Know that tomorrow will be different — or it won’t. Keep breathing. Keep fighting.

Everything you’re feeling has been felt by another, is currently being felt, or will be felt in the future. You’re not alone. Pain is universal — and necessary for growth. Others understand.

The little things are the big things, and they are all that matter. The sentiments, kind words, smiles, gestures — our relationships are the glue of life.

When in doubt, reinvent. Sometimes it’s the best medicine. Do something new, unexpected. Change your mind. Change your life.

Forgiveness heals.

And finally, to encapsulate these truths into one simple quote that tells of the collective human condition,

“We are all just walking each other home.” Ram Dass

These above points are true for all of us at any given time. We all have pain and joy and sorrow and happiness. We are in this thing together.

I already know 2018 will come with challenges, but I choose to see the beauty too. That’s up to me — and you.

What brings you the greatest joy? Do that. Regularly.

Many blessings in 2018, the energy of two … feminine, gentle, tactful, peaceful, diplomatic, forgiving and understanding. I’m ready; are you?

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