It is officially summer. I am a fan of setting goals or intentions at the start of every new season. For me it is a time to take a long hard look at what is and what is not working in my life. I’m not very good at letting go or embracing change, but the palpable shifts in nature make it a little easier for me.
Lately, I have been feeling really stuck and angry. After a few different interactions I was less than proud of and a big fight with a close friend that resulted in a much needed, but hard to initially digest conversation about our relationship I sat myself down to journal about what was going on. I came face to face with a very old pattern that I thought I had let go of. Turns out I had just morphed it so that I have essentially been continuing to fall prey to this old and hurtful way of being. I immediately thought – I have to change this, NOW. If only change were that easy. This is a very old and very ingrained way of being I am wanting to shift. It is going to take diligent baby steps, lots of awareness, and the acceptance that despite my perfectionist ways, which are the root of this pattern, I will probably have many failures that I can own up to and learn from or deny and runaway from. (I hope I can own up to the failures and learn from them more often than not.)
As I pondered and journaled I realized there was one thing I could make a conscientious effort to do every day and in every interaction that would help to counteract this old behavior. It all boiled down to compassion. At the heart of everything I realized I was not treating myself compassionately and that was spilling out to the way I was treating others. My summer intention had fully revealed itself to me. The intention to treat myself and others with compassion may sound simple on the surface, but it becomes tricky in moments when someone is unkind toward me, my feelings get hurt, things don’t turn out my way, or I’m frustrated and feeling unsuccessful at something. Only four days into summer, I have already found myself pausing before responding or reacting several times. Despite the struggles though, I feel lighter. It is as if I have lifted a weight off my own shoulders.
Letting go of one thing and embracing another is rarely an easy or smooth transition. When we set out to change we come face to face with ourselves, the good, the bad, the unknown, the ugly, and the raw pieces that fit together to make us who we are. As I set out to make this a season of greater compassion I fully expect to hit bumps in the road. I also fully expect to unveil pieces of myself that have been waiting to surface, but have been shrouded over by ways of being that no longer serve me on the path I am on. If there is something in your life it is time to let go of, or something it is time to fully embrace, I invite you to join me in making a positive shift this summer. It won’t be easy or comfortable, but it will probably be very rewarding.