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2021 – Looking Backward on My Year

We are quickly approaching the end of 2021 and I wanted to share some of the many things that I’ve learned about myself and the world this year. Like many of you, 2021 for me was almost as bizarre as 2020. The difference this year is that I learned a lot more and healed a lot more than I did in 2020.

2020 was a year of watching and observing the world around me as it collapsed in spectacular fashion almost overnight. I definitely had a strong opinion around what was happening but did my best not to panic or project pain or fear out into the world. There was enough of that going around without me adding to it. It wasn’t a perfect system by any stretch, but I definitely did my best with it.

In 2021 that weirdness became semi-normal. It became just how things were. They were weird. The supply chain was horribly broken, things were vanishing off of store shelves seemingly randomly, and it became clear that our attachment to the material world and the things in it was a problem. Even as we sit here today, turkeys, Christmas trees, and glazed fruit are hard to find or are just really expensive if we do manage to find them. It’s odd in some ways but also a reminder of how fragile and broken our system truly is.

On a much more personal note, I feel like I’ve become a new person at least once a week this year. Things have changed so dramatically within me that sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder who the hell I am. What happened to the woman that was afraid of her life and her circumstances? What happened to the woman that was stuck in her circumstances and victimized by them? What happened to the person that was attached to the outside world and focused so heavily on it?

I had to dig pretty deep this year to find the power within me so that I didn’t have to look for it outside of myself anymore. I’m by no means fully healed, there will always be more. Complete healing is not meant to be part of the human experience, no matter how much we might like to think it’s possible. I believe in the imperfect nature of the human being and that is what will keep us from ever fully healing while we are here.

All that digging allowed me to accept those insecure parts of myself that were creating the pain that I felt. It allowed me to get okay with who I was so I didn’t have to fight with myself anymore. As I talk about so often, I was able to let myself off the hook. I was able to look at those old experiences and accept that I was doing the best that I could from the pain that I was in.

I look back now and I’m grateful for every experience in my life, no matter how good or bad it was. That’s not magic. I didn’t just wave a wand and have that happen overnight. It came through walking my talk in a lot of ways. I do the things that I teach. There are many teachers out there that don’t necessarily demonstrate their own teachings by sharing their life experiences with us, but I do it all the time. It is the basis of the work that I do.

That work became clear this year. It’s probably only in the last few months, that I have truly begun to understand what exactly I am here to do and what the message is that I share. As I’ve stood more firmly in that, my work has become far more consistent. At the beginning of the year, you watched me drop a lot of things from my work. I was still doing a lot of the should’s and those needed to stop. I had to find what it meant to be in flow in my work. What that meant was that I had to stop arguing with it. I had to just accept what it was I was doing.

Flow means consistency and that also changed how I felt about myself. For a long time, I had trouble committing to things. The first version of Spirituality Unpacked that I did only had about a dozen episodes. This new and improved version is up to 21 and still going strong.

I’ve tried to do daily memes or weekly newsletters and other things that required more consistent commitment and I struggled with them. They weren’t bad, there was nothing wrong with any of them. I was looking for outside validation. I was looking for my audience to increase. I was looking for more views, likes, shares, and so on, and I wasn’t getting them. That’s why I shut all those things down. It was my own need for external validation that would get me into trouble.

I had to release that need and stop tracking likes and subscribes. I had to find a way to just do my work because I wanted to do my work not because of how many people would pay attention. I think I’ve talked about it at various points too, how difficult it was to continue to do things when the audience was so small. But I had to release that this year. I had to start to just do things because I wanted to do them and not attach to what happened once I released them into the world. That’s a long process and not an easy one. We’re so trained to pay attention to the outside world and look for validation in it. It’s a hard habit to stop.

But that wasn’t the only habit I had to break. I had to release a lot of money fear. I had to literally sometimes and even figuratively sit on my hands and not do anything when problems arose. Not fixing them was how I could fix them. I had to break old habits and patterns in that area of my life. The money was a reflection of my self-worth. It was a reflection of my perceived powerlessness. It was a reflection of how I felt about myself. All of those things were in deficit, just like my bank account.

I had to go digging and find the little girl and even the grown woman that gave her power away. I had to go find the little girl that was bullied in school because she didn’t fit in, and accept her for who she was. I had to go find the person that needed all that external validation to be okay, and accept that she was okay whether she got that feedback or not.

I had to own my life, the circumstances, the events, and the thoughts and feelings that came with those things. It just is or was and that’s okay. It all taught me who I am and who I am not. That was the point of each and every one of those experiences. They weren’t there to victimize me. They weren’t there to punish me. They were there to show me the power that I had within me if I chose to use it.

Those same lessons, that same journey that I’ve been on, is the one I encourage you to take as well. Get okay with your own demons and the skeletons in your closet. They aren’t scary. They are part of you. When you can acknowledge them, you’ll realize how valuable they actually are to you. They protected you from a lot of things that you weren’t ready to deal with. But now they are waiting for you to deal with them because they need to be accepted so that you can move forward.

As 2021 draws to a close, I want to say thank you. Thank you for reading all of my rambling. Thank you for your support, your acceptance, your love, and your kindness. I appreciate each and every one of you that takes time out of your days to take in what I offer. This journey isn’t always easy but it is worth it. Thank you for sharing it with me. I hope you’ll continue to share it with me in 2022.

Love to all.

Laura

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