Every year teaches us something new. 2021 was no exception. This was a year of realization and minimalism. This year, I realized how important self-care is. Very few of us actually take care of ourselves. Most of us are busy taking care of our kids, pets, partners, parents, friends, and even strangers. But how many of us actually take care of our own selves? trust me, very few of us. As a society, we have been taught to be selfless. But taking care of us doesn’t mean we have to be selfish. We can be selfless and yet take care of ourselves.
We all have our own share of trauma, pain, sadness, and emotional bruises. Some of us have childhood trauma, some have painful marriages, some have not been able to fulfill their dreams and some have a deep pain from losing a loved one. There is not a single person who can claim that they have no pain. We turn into bitter individuals due to this pain. Therefore, it is important for us to heal ourselves from this pain with self-love and self-care.
In 2021, I focused on decluttering my life. Actually, my decluttering journey had started a couple of years back, however, this year it was my primary focus. Along with material clutter, I also got rid of emotional clutter. This year, I stopped doing a lot of things as they were halting my journey. I stopped giving importance to material possessions and inclined more towards spiritual possessions. I started accepting myself the way I am. I stopped criticizing myself and comparing my life with that of others. I am on my unique journey and there is no point in comparing.
Thankfully, I also got rid of quite a few toxic people in my life. Anything, be it a human or material, if it is not adding any value to my life and if it is holding me back, then the wisest thing to do is let it go. I got rid of so many things and gifts that I had kept only because they reminded me of something or somebody. I got rid of them and created space for new things to come into my life. Before getting rid of any stuff, I said thank you, as at some point that stuff must have given me happiness. The more my physical space became clear, I realized my mind was also becoming clearer. Life is always more enjoyable when there is less clutter. If you are also struggling with de-cluttering then read my posts on Swedish Death cleaning and Minimalism. I think, one of the best things that I did in life was becoming a minimalist.
My word of the year (WOTY) for 2022 is HEAL. My WOTY for 2021 was HEALTHY, It included a healthy body, healthy mind, healthy relationships, a healthy environment, and healthy living. To fulfill that goal, I regularly practiced yoga, tried to eat healthily, spent more time with friends who make me happy, and did massive decluttering. While decluttering, I could see how unnecessary emotional baggage had kept me away from my healing journey. Therefore, 2022 is going to be all about healing, self-love, and self-care.
Healing is not easy. When we start the process of healing, it actually causes more pain. However, to heal we need to accept and forgive. The first person whom we need to forgive is ourselves. I have accepted my life. I have also started forgiving. While we accept and forgive, we also need to be grateful. Happiness is a practice, it comes to those who practice gratitude regularly. We cannot wait for the big promotion, the big trip, the big wedding, etc to be happy. We need to be happy right now. The moment we look at the beauty of our present and feel grateful, we become happy. Nobody else can make me happy. The only person who can make me happy is myself. The more we realize this the happier we become.
Life is not supposed to be easy but if we accept this fact then it is easier to move ahead. Wallowing in self-pity for all the wrongs that happened to us actually stops our spiritual growth. We need to transcend our daily sufferings by changing our thought processes. In a difficult situation, we need to look at the ‘”collateral beauty”‘. Once we change the pattern of our thought and replace complaining with gratitude a lot of things change.
Let me conclude this post with the beautiful beginning line from the book The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck.
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult–once we truly understand and accept it–then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck