What’s Holding You Back?

I had, in 2005, what I thought was my Year of Fire. I got divorced; moved from the house my ex-husband and I owned back into my parents home and then into my grandfather’s house; and then sold most of my things, hopped into my little blue first-gen Prius, and shot off to Los Angeles to begin law school and a new life.

It was a transition of body, mind, and spirit: a rebirth.

I can feel the same thing occurring right now, as if God were a blacksmith, and that Year of Fire had simply warmed my metal spirit for these years of reshaping, and 2011 was another trip through the smoldering ashes. It was the year that I had to face every dark thing that ever happened to me that I had ever hidden from myself. It was the year I shamefully punched my husband in broad daylight for trying to hold me to the sidewalk as I stormed into traffic trying to end my life because I believed, erroneously, that I was what was wrong with the world. It was the year the police took me to the hospital for my own protection, and the year that I finally understood why killing yourself is a crime against society.

2011 was the year that I realized that the only person truly holding me back from anything, even happiness, is me, and that, while it seems sad to me right now, it’s really a very happy thing… because for all the lack of control I have over impediments to my goals, my attitude is the one thing I can control. Thus, impediments can be overcome or worked around. Almost nothing in this world is impossible.

So when I say 2012 is going to be better than 2011, I can say it with confidence, because I have nowhere to go but up from here.

In 2012, I will not be losing my home, like I did in 2011, to move in with family, but living happily with family and hopefully moving out into our own place again.

In 2012, I will not be cutting my parents out of my life and suffering their loss because of deep, long-held misunderstandings, but rebuilding deep and meaningful connections with them based on love and trust.

In 2012, I will not be seeking to help the world by getting rid of one more problem person, but rather helping the world by giving myself compassion and spreading love and compassion to others.

In 2012, I will not hold back my art for fear of criticism. Criticism means they listened or looked. 🙂

If I can face multiple sclerosis and seizure disorder every day, I can face the opinions of an audience.

So… What’s holding you back?

3 thoughts on “What’s Holding You Back?

  1. In 2012, I will not hold back my art for fear of criticism. Criticism means they listened or looked.

    If I can face multiple sclerosis and seizure disorder every day, I can face the opinions of an audience.

    I love you, in part, because you seem to mysteriously come to the exact realizations I do… but you phrase it better. I have never thought of criticism quite like that. Thank you.

  2. What had held me back in 2011 was the physical limitations, new ones thanks to MS. What I am learning and taking into 2012 is that I can operate in a more limited way and be just as happy (or happier).

    It may take my cane to get around anywhere beyond a single room, my scooter to regain my independence, a nap in the afternoon to be sure that I have the energy needed to tackle the next day. But, I can still do it. And still be happy.

    Your quote about criticism made me think of this: If someone is criticizing, they are taking the time to do so. It must mean they care enough to make an effort. I used to get so upset with coaches when my best wasn’t good enough for them, but one told me that the day he stopped getting on me was the day I needed to start worrying. If he didn’t think I could do better he wouldn’t have spent the time in criticizing. Something to think about.

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