Before you move on to intention setting and focus your energy on what’s to come; before you decide what to devote yourself to for the year and decade ahead, don’t forget to make meaning of the life you’ve been living.
We move on so fast. We forge ahead, eager to escape the pain and hardships, messiness, and shame behind us. But this hasty moving along and premature letting go often come at a hefty price:
We end up building our next round of stories upon the shitty first drafts of last year (thank you Brené Brown and Anne Lamott). If we’re not careful, our lives become a compilation of shitty first drafts (layer upon crusty layer) rather than carefully crafted, empowering, self-honoring, and meaning-filled stories created with intention and wisdom.
Here are a few examples:
“I lost my job and sunk into a deep depression,” can become “I am finally free from a career path that didn’t fit me well, and my depression led me to my therapist. It’s still so painful, but I’m healing old wounds and changing my life story.”
“I yelled at my kids a lot and realized how little joy I find in motherhood,” can become “I finally admitted to myself that stay-home motherhood isn’t for me and gave myself permission to explore a life that better meets my needs. I’m listening to my truth and being braver than ever in my choices.”
“I dated a narcissist who fucked with my head and took advantage of my open heart,” can become “I found the strength to leave an emotionally abusive relationship. I am in my power like never before, no longer so naive, and committed to a whole new level of self-protection and boundary setting.”
Systems of oppression make thriving and wellness exponentially harder for some than others. Many mothers are not dealt a winning hand, for reasons beyond our control and that have nothing to do with our worthiness. But/and meaning-making is an important step for us all, no matter how many intersections of oppression we navigate, as the very same systems that are causing harm are also happy to make meaning for us in ways that perpetuate the disempowerment of those already most marginalized.
Meaning-making is resistance. It’s a critical step along the path to greater justice, equity, and empowerment.
What meaning do you choose to make of your past year/decade?
Taking a moment with you,