Crumbs and Holes

Ever since I was eleven years old, I haven’t understood all the hoo-ha about NYE and The New Year. That was the first time I remember being excited about staying up late, watching the ball drop, and the potential of not only a new day but A NEW YEAR!

The way it was presented, I was certain I would wake up in a different world, sparkly and unlike the one I went to sleep in. I’d enjoy a whole new set of feelings about life. As if a new year waved a magic wand over the land and made it better.

It turned out, no such luck.

Once I got hip to the New Year’s jive,
I stopped expecting miracles on January 1.

We’ve just celebrated another romp around the sun; it’s a new year, and the time many people use to begin again, commit to themselves to lead healthier lives, stop doing this or that and decide to become better people all the way around.

I want to offer a couple of ideas to consider taking into the new year with you to navigate the world and help you get closer to your desired state of life.

In the new year:

1) Don’t accept crumbs.

If you grew up in a dysfunctional home, you might have been groomed to accept crumbs in your life. It can show up in jobs, intimate relationships, friendships, the ability to set boundaries, health, wealth and well-being.

It can be so ingrained that you don’t recognize it until you consider the possibility. I began thinking about this concept many years ago while contemplating my bat mitzvah. A lot of preparation went into the ceremony, and I worked hard to do a good job. My father arrived late, entered the auditorium in the middle of my presentation, and left early. I was so disappointed. But the justification for his brief appearance was, I showed up, what do you want?

The upshot was, I didn’t get to have any feelings about his actions. I was to accept it whether I liked it or not, with no explanation or apology. Take these crumbs I’m offering and get over it. I’m sure that wasn’t the first time adults in my life relayed that message.

Perhaps there are similar stories you recognize from your life.

A child doesn’t have choice. An adult does. Once you recognize this imprint, you can decide not to accept crumbs. You may review how you’re treated in relationships with friends and lovers, realize you want different things, and learn to ask for them. You may choose to take action to feel better in your body. You may ask for a raise or begin looking for different, more fulfilling work. You might pay more attention to your finances. You may decide to set firmer boundaries that support caring for yourself instead of spreading yourself too thin. You could learn to say no when you feel no and yes when you think yes. Figure out ways to achieve something closer to balance in your life.

One caveat — along with making these changes often comes feelings of guilt. If you’re not used to taking care of yourself, it’s common to feel guilty when you begin. And it’s uncomfortable. Don’t worry; it’s positive guilt.

It has to do with deserving, uncovering shame, and cultivating a strong sense of self; recognizing your value.

Making changes is difficult because you can’t change without changing. To change, you have to think and do things differently. But here’s the thing. Everything you do now was once new and felt uncomfortable until becoming familiar; your comfort level increases when you get used to things.

2) Pay attention to what you allow through your holes.

You have eyes, ears, a nose, a mouth and privates.

Be mindful of what you watch and read, who you listen to, what you breathe, eat, and the things you do with your privates. Ask yourself if you’re being nourished by what you’re doing; you can be by making good choices.

These days it’s so easy to get caught up in the fearful news, blasted 24/7. You can be aware of the essential things without being immersed in the fear factory.

Do you watch a lot of violence? It colors your view of the world.
What are you listening to? Music, podcasts, the people around you influence you.
What do you eat and drink? It makes a difference in how you feel.
What are you breathing/ smoking/ inhaling? Your lungs and overall health are effected.
Is the person, or are the people (wink) you’re sleeping with, supportive and fulfilling your needs?

These are things to consider as you move forward into the new year.

Happy 2022. May we all be fulfilled, grow and prosper amidst a time of rapid world change.

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