Friday, December 30, 2016

The High Road of Self-Care

According to thesaurus.com, high road can mean the ethical or easiest course. Personally, 2016 has meant taking the high road as often as I can in order to come to terms with suffering, and while this definitely has come to pertain to ethics, it has not been the easiest course.

2016 has been a year of self-care. It's been of self-containment: learning how to hold in the most powerful of emotions while they explode inside and still remain standing, with a smile. I've gone through years recently when I believed that being open about everything would equal a more honest mode of living. But that never happened, and in fact my relentless pursuance of openness and truth only backfired in one of the worst ways possible mid-2015 when my world effectively imploded in all the worst ways. Instead, in picking myself up out of that rubble, I rediscovered again that openness meant vulnerability.

Perhaps it is ironic that the loss of communication in my personal life translated to a rising star career in communications. Maybe the two are linked and yet, part of my self-care has been to stay away from analysing what this connection is. Part of my self-care meant that the sleepless nights and broken parts of me could be covered up with redirected energy to other places.

2016 has been a year of reflection, outward and inward. It has been one of struggling, of juggling so many things at once and yet keeping a nonchalant presentation whilst doing so to appear effortless. I've been let down so many times over the past year that I come to expect it and, in doing so, I'm already taking the next step when someone has failed to meet expectation. 2016 has sort of been a year where Plan B is already Plan A.

Ironically while expecting the worst, I have become a better empath. I've already forgiven everyone who is in the process of letting me down, ready to move ahead. In a way, forgiveness has been an irreverent way of saying 'it's okay; I really didn't expect anything more from you.' If there is anything 2015 taught me it was the power of forgiveness, and I put that into practice in 2016. I've become much more guarded with my trust; but this has allowed for me to remain detached in a way that has let me forgo the chronic depression that stood by my side in the last 12 months. Instead, learning from the eye-opening experience of being dropped like a rock or thrown over the shoulder like a piece of garbage, I, too, threw my  sorrows over my shoulder like a burden that 'ain't nobody got time for'.

In the process of learning to love myself a little more — from the knowledge that anyone else who says that 3 word phrase is probably lying — I've learned patience like I've never known before. It is still a hard time every morning trying to get over that 2-minute habit of getting past that tight, burning nugget of self-loathing that then expresses itself throughout the day as expansive tragicomic narcissism. It is a trying process, but it is happening.

The number of times I have broken down in public the past few months have been a testament to this. The last four months has revolved around giving to others: through organizing a huge charitable event, through helping other non-profits, through gaining insight in simply forgiving other people for being useless, it has been, more or less, a year of taking the high road. Learn to love yourself, learn to forgive, and more importantly learn to say sorry because that, too, is part of self-care.


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