I’m a sucker for a new year. I’m also a big resolution maker, even if, more often than not, I don’t end up keeping them. There’s just something about that sleepy week between Christmas and New Year’s – the quiet time to dream and plan, the calendar full of unblemished days – that fills me with hope. For a brief time, I recover the feeling (growing more elusive with each passing year) that anything is possible.
I started writing a New Year’s post for this blog at least half a dozen times, only to cast each one aside because it felt dishonest, or I wasn’t sure what I was trying to say. I tried to write a sort of 2022 year-in-review retrospective, but it just made me tired. 2022 was a tiring year. And anyway, now that we’re six days into 2023, I really think it’s time to look forward rather than back, don’t you?
Recently, I had a session with an intuitive healer, for help with low-grade anxiety that has become increasingly unmanageable. In the session, the healer (Whitney) told me that I’ve been traveling with unconscious fear my whole life. That worrying is, in fact, my comfort zone. As soon as I heard her say it, I knew it was true. Worrying about the future is the way I try to control it. As in, if I worry about something it either: a) won’t happen or b.) won’t blindside me when it does.
But the worrying has reached a tipping point. Not only is trying to control the future a pointless exercise, but it has left me totally unable to enjoy the present moment. Even when things are good, I can’t relax, because I’m always bracing for some inevitable disaster. It’s exhausting, and I hate it.
I’m desperate to unlearn this lifelong pattern, but I know it won’t be easy. Whitney suggested a sort of “fake it til I make it” approach: whenever I start worrying, I simply repeat the phrase “All is Well” as many times as I need to until I feel better. Even if I don’t believe it, over time, the simple repetition of “All is Well” will have the power to reprogram my brain’s default that nothing is well. At least, that’s the hope.
On New Year’s Eve, I decided to choose a word to be my theme for 2023. I just closed my eyes and picked the first word that came to mind. That word was “Trust.”
It turns out that “Trust” is a nice companion to “All is Well.” Here’s how it works: this year, I’m going to trust that my life is unfolding as it is meant to. I’m going to trust that it’s not too late for me, that I’m not falling behind on some imaginary timeline. I’m going to trust in my ability to handle whatever’s coming down the road. And most importantly, I’m going to trust the intuitive voice that says, “This is right” and “This is wrong.”
If I think about it, that intuitive voice has been a reliable guide, when I’m brave enough to listen to her. She helped me leap into the unknown and take some big scary risks in my life, including turning down a “safe” corporate job that was totally wrong for me, moving to New York City after eighteen years (!) in Los Angeles, and going back to school for a master’s degree at the age of thirty-nine.
Normally, I approach each new year with a whole host of resolutions. Big plans, big dreams, big goals for the year ahead. And while there are still some important things I’d like to check off my bucket list, I also recognize that this sort of obsessive planning is just another way of trying to control the future. So, this year I’m trying something different. This year my only resolution is that one word: Trust. I will breathe it in and out like a mantra, letting it carry me through every big decision, every moment of uncertainty. Trusting – even if it means I have to fake it til I make it – that All is Well.
Happy New Year, friends.