Mini Reflections of Year 2022: Better late than never

Mini Reflections of Year 2022: Better late than never

Christmas is coming in just a couple of days. Nearing the end of another year, and it feels like just yesterday I just welcomed year 2022. 

And boy, what a year 2022 has been. 

When I look back, I don't really know how to feel about this year except reeling in with gratitude from the lessons I've been taught, all the mistakes that I've made and wasted much precious time I've spent worrying and feeling anxious on some things, which I'll never get back. These lessons I've been taught in year 2022 will also go on to be the most precious lessons I've ever come to learn - both about other people as well as about myself. 

I just turned 35 this year. When I was younger, people always say 'you'll figure it out when you're 30". Well, today, I look around me and so many people are still trying to figure it out. Some people I got to know past their age of 40, still never seemed to figure it out at all. 

But one thing is for sure - go and do what you think is best for yourself. 

Think people are watching you? Think they've got opinions on you? Truth is, no one really cares - we live in a world where people are preoccupied with their own set of problems. Well - go and set out to accomplish what you dream of, what you enjoy and do it with the ones you love and love you. 

The ones who are there for you, will be there for you. The people who love you, and want to love you, will stick by you no matter what. 

Perhaps one of the biggest realizations for me is that there is indeed a fine line between self-centeredness and self-love. I realize many people also seem to misinterpret what 'guarding your heart' means. It doesn't mean to throw yourself away at the expense of others, neither does it mean to be selfish and make use of others (intentionally or not) to fill up your own emotional gaping hole. 

For a long time, I have been that person for others, the one who is always checking in on others, caring for them, being there whenever they need someone - always such a 'favorite' Aunt Agony option for others. Offering up my care and concern, trying to provide emotional advice for so many people, while feeling emotionally drained... while they take and take and take and my emotional state is left depleted. Somewhere, sometimes, in a secret crevice of my heart, once in a while I would be thinking how nice it'll be to have someone show up for me, and who would be that person for me?  

But this year, at least towards the final months of 2022, I am learning to be that person for myself. I won't be waiting for others to show up for me, I'll show up for myself. 

That doesn't mean I'll close off my heart to others, I will still allow the love I have for people (whether they are kind or not) to flow. I'll still seek to be a blessing where I may be, but also try to practice that with discernment and boundaries going forward. 

Loving yourself doesn't mean you become inward looking and selfish - the opposite is true. You speak the truth in love, especially if you really have good intentions for that person to grow. However, there is a fine balance to that. Quit the savior mentality, thinking you're the only one who can save them. I was listening to some sharings from Jordan Peterson lately, and I can totally agree with this. 

When asked, "What is the best way to encourage someone out of despair, or ask them questions so that they move in a certain way - which you feel is best for them?" 

Peterson put this well. "Disabuse yourself of the notion that you know what is the best for that person. Not only do you not know, you don't want that responsibility for 2 main reasons. If you do and they do what you say and something good happens to them, would the victory be yours or theirs? Would you have stolen their victory? If they fail, they end up paying the price for that while you can walk away saying you should have been more careful with your words. Never mess about with people's destiny, you don't know where they are headed. In the same vein, you shouldn't be asking questions just so you can lead them in a particular direction; it's manipulative in nature, thinking only you know what is best for others." 

Ultimately, show up. Be, firstly, a person and show genuine care and concern. Until they show you a reason not to anymore. You can still love them, but from a distance - with boundaries you set in place to guard yourself. You want to help someone? Make the decision that you're aiming towards helping them, and do it in the spirit of ignorance where you first find out what the problem is. The question here should be, "If I could give you what you wanted right now in the context of this argument or issue and I wasn't doing it in a manipulative way, what is it that I would have to say or do that would, in principle, satisfy you?" 

How about you? Have you thought about how your 2022 has been, and what your biggest learnings are in this year? 



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