2018 :: No Fear, Much Strength

By on January 13, 2018

2018 graphic

This is the time of year when I say, “Out with the old and in with the new”. I say this because I am trying to live a life of purpose and meaning. The first thing I ask is not “why” or even “what” but “who” I need to change in order to live my life to its fullest potential.

The Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, calls this your “true self.” So many of us hide behind the false selves of achievement and status, because we are afraid for the world to truly see us for who we are.

Caring what people think of me has been a challenge for as long as I can remember. I was taught at a young age to care about how I appeared to others; it is ingrained in me. The other reason is because, let’s face it, like me, you care what people think… to a point. I care what people think of me during a job interview, at a party where I know no one, with my family, with my co-workers, and then there’s social media caring about all the likes and followers I get.

There is a gap between my true self and my false self; between my soul and my sole, and it’s up to me to fill it.  I feel this is true for all of us….we are all — hopefully — becoming truer versions of ourselves, those selves that step into the light and do not hide from who we really are, but to do this well, we need insight. We need a way to recognize our blind spots because as human beings, we are terrible at self-awareness. We need the voices of others to point out what we’re missing.

There came a point in my life where I really didn’t care what someone thought of me. This was great because it gave me the strength to end two connections I had. One, was with my ex-boyfriend and the other was with a long, lost friend of mine who became my roommate from hell.

The relationship with my ex was very toxic. I ended it in 2010, however, I kept a connection due to thinking I could maintain a healthy “friendship”  and because we shared custody of the dog, Dalton. By the time 2017 arrived, I started to pull back because I reached the point when I said to myself, “Enough is a enough”. With each passing month, I pulled further and further back until November which was when I decided to end the friendship (if you want to call it that) forever.

It wasn’t difficult to end my connection with him, but it was difficult because I had to give him custody of Dalton. We battled over him a lot because we had different views on training and care. My heart still breaks knowing I’ll never take Dalton on a walk again, have another sleep with him cuddled up by my side, or to have another playful moment with him. Moving forward, I know in my heart it was what I had to do. I had to step forward with my life because having a connection with my ex would mean having contact with him for as long as Dalton should live.

After living with my roommate for four months, I realized she didn’t serve me well due to her financial issues, alcoholism, lack of respect for my home, and her snoring!

2017 was a roller coaster ride for me. However, what it taught me was strength. It is a feeling I always have had but it grew to masterful proportions this past year right to the point where I felt empowered and I owned it.

New Year’s resolutions are society’s way of making us feel we have something to look forward to, something to share with those we don’t know at the holiday party. This year is different – don’t make a resolution. Make a promise with yourself that you will rid yourself of what, who, or isn’t working for you.

I promise you a weight will feel like it has been lifted. A door has been closed. A chapter has ended. Sure, it may cause a moment for reflection but what it will do is open you up to a whole new world of wonderful, and room for new people and experiences to enter your life.

Finding our “who” — that true self we were meant to be — begins with understanding who we are right now, good or bad, warts and all.

Fear sets us back. Don’t let fear be your guide. Allow your heart and intuition to lead you and believe in its strength, for it will give you the power to release what burdens you and open the path to what is waiting for you.

Cheers to 2018: no fear and gaining inner strength.

By Raquel Richards, publisher of Scenester magazine and the host of The Miss Raquel Show

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