Forget, Remember, Change or Keep: Reflections on 2013

Last year as I looked back on 2012 and forward to 2013, I shared that there were things I wanted to “forget, remember, change or keep.”  (The End of a Year, written December 31, 2012)

I typically do not make New Year resolutions, but I want to reflect on how I have changed in relationship to each of these points, as I put one more year behind me.

I wanted to FORGET the need I have often felt for the illusion of perfection, or living up to what I think others’ expect of me.

I have been fairly successful with this and have been able to show many of my imperfections, and share my stories of failure as easily as those of success. I can even laugh more often, and am less embarrassed by those moments I am human. I am more forthright in allowing others to know who I am, without trying to change my personality to accommodate what others might want me to be.

Yet, I still find myself unable to allow myself to be seen out in public unless I feel somewhat “put together.” I have concern that I might run into those who know me from the workshops I teach and events where I speak or sing, and they may see me without makeup or in clothes where I would not want to be caught!

I also continue to fear making certain mistakes that I feel would put me under much scrutiny for being human, where I may be devalued or ridiculed by others. I clearly need to continue to work on this one.

I wanted to REMEMBER and be reminded that I am living true to my purpose. Because I have allowed myself to shed myself of some of the perfection illusions and be vulnerable, there are more and more people who have continued to share their stories with me. It is in these shared stories and experiences that I am reminded that courage comes from the willingness to step out of the comfort zone.

I have been witness to this in others many times over this year. I have been told that it is by my example that they feel the strength to do so. And I no longer minimize these situations, but thank them for sharing with me and trust that things are as they are to be.

I do not look for ways to inspire others, as it is not a “job” that I must perform. I must simply do what I am intended to do and let whatever is to transpire as it will. So, I am extremely grateful each time I have been reminded that I do make a difference. It is the greatest of all gifts I will ever receive.

I wanted to CHANGE a part of me that has a difficult time of “letting go.” This has been a continuing struggle for me. But I have been letting more often.
I am learning to let go of things and have begun to rid myself of things that I do not like as much or clothing that is two sizes too big, so I have donated more without thinking about how much I spent on it, and whether or not I can sell it later.

Learning to let go of people has been more difficult. Some have done it for me, as they have walked away. I still am unable to shut the door and lock it on others who have done so, as I am so attached to the notion that when people walk away from me that I am somehow flawed or have done something wrong. Intellectually, I know better, but the emotion behind it keeps me wanting to save a place in my heart “just in case.” Knowing when to let go is the most difficult.

And finally, I wanted to KEEP people in my life by building connection to others who will laugh and cry with me on this journey throughout life. I have been more open to allowing others in who give of themselves as I give of myself. I am more able to accept those who show they are willing to have the types of relationships of every kind that are built on common goals of trust, communication, respect, acceptance, and love for one another.

I am becoming less suspicious and cynical, and am better –equipped to see and share the goodness that people can share. This does not come without limits, but I am less likely to shut others out emotionally, especially when I am hurt or scared. I allow for connections to develop as they are to be.
So, as I look back on what I wanted to accomplish for 2013 in these four actions—forget, remember, change, and keep—I have grown from where I was one year ago today. Each of these has a link to relationship with others and with me.

As I continue to reflect in these next 23 hours, and look ahead into 2014, I do not want to forget the lessons of this past year, but want to remember how important it is to keep moving forward, no matter what life will bring. Change is certainly necessary, as I must adapt to the circumstances I will continue to face. However, let me always remember to keep myself open to becoming a better version of me, and to continue to build relationship to those who will walk with me along the way.

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Copyright © 2013 Coral Levang, and not to be used without permission. May be shared, if properly credited and linked back to this source

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