My word for 2015 was Radical. For 2016 it is Teachability, as in; I will be open, listen, learn, grow, change, be flexible. Continuing the attitude of bring it on and stepping outside that growth-limiting comfort zone. 2016 is going to be a rocking year for teachability, especially since I will be retaining the 2015 word. Radical served me well in 2015 and I see no reason to retire it. If there is some rule out there that says differently, screw that. And I say that in the nicest way possible. No offense, Mr/Ms rule maker.
It was on social media 2013, that the concept of having a “word” for the new year became known to me, so, for 2014 I chose Grace. I needed that word that year; grace for myself and for others and I just knew when I thought about if for 2 seconds that grace it is.
For 2015, I went to a quiet place, cleared my thoughts and asked the Holy Spirit, please speak the word for my 2015 year. Then, I sat quietly and bam! There is was. It seemed like an odd word, but who am I to argue. I went and looked it up. Merriam Websters Dictionary online says;
a: very different from the usual or traditional : extreme
b : favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions or Institutions.
I am smiling when I finish reading this. Take off the institutions part and I am game because this is about me, personal growth. Institutions; you are on your own for now.
2015 turned out to be a radical year for growth and healing. Was it smooth? Smooth and radical do not even belong in the same sentence if radical is going to be, well, radical. If you want smooth, go back to your box and cover your head. And good luck with that.
In Radical Year 2015, the idea of “don’t take anything personally” began to make sense and seem like a doable step. The typical me mode heard the words, but I struggled to wrap my brain around the how. My negative tapes, or gremlins, as Brene Brown calls them, said; pie in the sky, bogus philosophy, unrealistic, wishful thinking. Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could just turn my brain off when other people say/do things that hurt? Prayer and affirmations helped. A lot. Saying I forgive them, I forgive myself, please forgive me, God, Holy Spirit please heal my heart. Helped. A lot. Still, I wanted to know why.
Then, I went to lunch with my niece Lacey and she talked about this book about personalities and how now she gets why she does what she does and understands her daughter better, etc. This book sounded different. And, was it ever. I read it 3 times cover to cover and wondered, how did I not know this? Seriously. Life. Changing. Now I get it. I understand why my friend walked away from our friendship when we could have talked through the problem. And why her actions broke my heart and I thought it was me that deserved it. Nope. Or why certain people talk but don’t listen and I would feel unworthy. Really? Or my husband tossing out a careless remark that I would take personally, but now I know it’s just that he speaks before he thinks. And I get it! Yesssss, finally. Thank you Lord, for answering my prayers for insight. Now I get the “why” of lots of behavior I see and I do and now have a clue what I can do to grow. Radical healing. Radical growth. Don’t take anything personally. I get it. I can do this.
Epiphany of the year came very recently and I am still processing. It is the reason I am once again writing, after years of silence. It involves an exercise where one pretends one is sitting or standing right in front of the person who hurt them and verbally, out loud. yes, out loud, speak to the person and says whatever one needs to say. Then, you have to shift gears by putting yourself in their place and let them speak. There is something about verbalizing anger, , guilt, hurt and fear that changes its power and, in my case, a traumatic event from 25 years ago, took a complete different tone and it went from me whining, cowering and trying to explain, to; realizing this person knows the truth, was manipulating the situation for personal gain and control, and nothing I say will change them and it no longer matters to me what that person says or thinks. It was time to get my power back. Forgive them, move on. Radical freedom. I’m still reeling from this revelation. But I have a big smile on my face and a sense of peace.
So, 2016, radical teachability, bring in on.
The people code by Dr Taylor Hartman