Words by Kirsten Maccdonald
What did 2019 teach me? Well I bring certain hard learned lessons aka Gifts into the new year of 2020.
The last seven years altered me in ways I could never have predicted, wanted to or dreamed of. 2019 delivered a doozy of delights. Lessons encrypted so tightly it was like trying to force open a Da Vinci codex.
Learning came faster than QANDA quips on climate change, and my heart was broken and mended repeatedly. There was a shower floor moment- a first…
A tiled floor is a tough place from which to get up and not because of my dodgy hips, I am actually quite nimble (old ballerina brag) but because it just got a bit too much. Life got too loud. The words “multiple haemorrhages in your brain, but its okay, you’re still stable”- were delivered.
A juxtaposition if I have ever heard one. Doesn’t make sense, does it? What a quandary. Humph and bother. I think the word hemorrhage means bleeding and bleeding into your brain isn’t delightful. It’s not a cut on your knee; you can’t put a stitch in it. And it’s not totally dire, because I am still here. I am completely and utterly, loudly alive.
My demands on myself to serve others became too big, and I personally think God’s head was shaking with a sigh, looking at me asking “are you quite finished yet?” Because there was universe work to do, and I was not keeping up my end of the bargain.
Conservation of energy and dedication to purpose with purpose was required POST HASTE.
Wrangling control of one’s life when you have become accustomed to doing so to survive is an art form. When the worlds smartest doctors just can’t fix you they can end up avoiding you because its all too complicated- becoming the master of your fate is a pretty healthy option.
The captain of my ship. Invictus anyone? Never a control freak of anyone else’s life- just my own- my destiny was in my hands loaded up to the titanium clips with faith. Are you laughing yet? A good joke I once heard was if you want you to make God laugh tell God your plans.
Because often what we have in mind for ourselves doesn’t even come close to the good things that we have the potential to enjoy.
But that will come later. Much later. I got up from the shower floor feeling like the last round of a punch drunk boxer, I quite literally after crying every ounce of fluid out of my body, snotty and exhausted. It was time now. One foot, then the other. Of course, it had to all to come out. We can’t be fierce and brave all the time.
This moment is the one we shall call surrender. To truly surrender, we must first recognise a few things. These were items on a spiritual shopping list I thought I already had in my pantry. It turns out the labels aren’t always accurate. More information is needed!
So what did I learn?
Emotions can be toxic. People have emotions. Therefore people can be toxic. Sometimes more toxic than Springfield lake. Fish with three eyes are the least of your problems. It isn’t always obvious either.
Toxic people are experiencing deep pain and trauma and have inadequate coping mechanisms or may have developed some tricky psychological schemas to deal with stuff.
Very often, it doesn’t belong to you and is actually none of your business.
It is instead a malady of misaligned perceptions. Sometimes on both sides too. Wish them well, wish them, love, reduce your time with them and do not make room for toxic behaviour in your life. A dear friend said to me; it only happens when you make the space for it. Accountability bites, doesn’t it? This one felt like a million piranas. Pay more attention to your environmentally supportive shopping habits, your garden, and supporting your community and family or fly a kite. Energy flows where your attention goes.
Cliche magic here humans; shine brightly and don’t apologise for your shiny bits even when other people think they are not shiny but rather pieces of glass sticking in their eyeballs. Because those “pieces of glass” are actually diamonds to others. Others that wrap you in love and you wrap em right back.
You are you. In the words of the great Seuss: Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
Authenticity doesn’t appeal to everyone. Our need for social acceptance is a powerful desire, and subconsciously it can make us do weird things. Like toning our enthusiasm or joy down, for fear of rejection or “the look of disapproval” There is a strong urge to run backwards and not upset anyone by being you. Don’t listen. Success is not the antithesis to friendship! Otherwise you don’t have a friendship. Fear of success can be very real if you are also scared of losing relationships because of perceptions surrounding the so called “success.”
Fear of success and failure are genuine elements for those who have learned to turn down their volume as a child. Success in life in all its forms, but particularly happiness, intelligence, skills or unfiltered joy and even financial wealth can be a trigger for others.
If you are busy following your path and loving the heck out of those around you, you won’t have time to judge anyone else. There won’t be any room on the broom. You don’t need any excuses to be fabulous or unfabulous. It just is.
Follow your path and be 100% you. Unless you are farting in public, scratching your crotch and picking your nose amongst other yucky things, cos that is just gross, my sister doesn’t like listening to people chew, and I can’t handle toenail clippings.
There needs to be some social engineering for our evolving sensibilities right? NO! Narcissists and gaslighters must also be identified, and you need to move gently away from this sphere.
Toxic emotions are not conducive to peace. A sphere captures bad vibes like a noxious gas.
When we shine, we prosper.
Protect your positivity like a newborn baby you have wrapped in your arms. You have the right to experience joy as much as you want when you want. You are entitled to very little in life, but joy is one of them. So is sadness. The light and shade dance so eloquently together they can break your heart.
The next cosmic whopper and I might very well be singing to the choir here, but it is okay not to be okay. You are whatever you are, and the emotions you are feeling right now are real and do not need validation. You are experiencing them. They just are.
You do not need to be stoic — no one hands out trophies for it, or a skippy badge.
When we fight feeling to make everyone around us feel better, we sometimes rob them from their moment of learning. We can get very quickly caught up like a kitten in string until it is so tight it threatens to strangle us. Too many threads can choke the mind and body.
Often when are the central figure of perceived strength in people’s lives, and we get vulnerable or focus on ourselves, it can make people feel abandoned or unsettled, restless and fearful. Their need for us to remain the same, or be restored quickly is strong because it helps them feel better. Safe. Anchored.
But here’s the thing, you should be no-one’s anchor. For if you are theirs, how do they steer their ship when it is meant to sail?
Never rob someone of the opportunity to grow and become strong in their own right even if it means watching them skin their knees along the way. This can be torture for the empath to witness without taking control of the situation and saving. Lifeguards are not needed here. A cheer squad can be good. People are allowed to have feelings, and it doesn’t mean they want you to fix them.
I learned the statement “I am having strong feelings about x right now, and this is okay. I will come back to you if that’s ok.” People can get angry when we feel things, and we can feel anxious when people are having a case of the feels, and we don’t know what they are. The answer: COMMUNICATE!
When you permit yourself, you permit others. By neglecting to do this, you can also plant seeds of guilt within yourself, causing pain in your body and mind. This is toxic on every level.
Let the tears fall. Tears never hurt anyone. They might make people feel awfully uncomfortable. Still, space can be made for moisture falling from eyes, and when this happens, it can be sacred.
On the flip side, choose your friends carefully. Hello Captain Obvious. An old one but one that keeps popping up like a nasty case of herpes for me in 2019. Vulnerability is powerful, but it needs to be expressed with those you trust.
People that do not have the energy to respect you don’t need you in their life. Vulnerability is a gift. Thanks, Brene. Your lessons in boundaries were rippers.
Zombie apocalyptic movies taught me two things- Woody Harrelson will never lose his cool, and the double-tap is a metaphor to life. You need to learn lessons, but you don’t need to learn them twice. Placing people on a pedastool, they didn’t ask to be placed on causes an ouchy.
Family is life. Blood relative or soul relative, don’t forget your family. We become so disconnected today we can forget who our tribe is. Childhood is powerful. Family bonds are sacred. We don’t always agree. Sometimes we fight. Even if you aren’t close or are disconnected physically- family is essential.
Every morning, I have a little ritual where I ask God to watch over every family member and send them my love. They get it. If you love your family, treat them well. Treat them like the jewels they are.
Because nothing lasts forever, and humans are particularly susceptible to death. It can separate us physically and make us wish for things we can’t get back.
Feeling sorry for yourself and a having a shower floor moment is going to happen. But only for a while. Getting those suppressions out is crucial. Since 2012 I learned the key to optimism in action and the difference between ignorant positivity and positive living. Unconscious positivity means you don’t acknowledge the seriousness of what is going on and have a good case of denial.
Positive living means you know the different versions, and you understand the ability of the human body and the planet to overcome just about anything, so you do everything in your power to help make this happen. So allow self-pity momentarily.
Feeling sorry for yourself is like stubbing your tow and peeling the scab off every day, never allowing it to heal.
Don’t like it?
Change it. Deal with it.
Wrangle with it. Learn it, understand it, reflect, ponder, and you will prosper. Flip it, reverse engineer it if you need to. Feeling sorry for ourselves only serves one purpose- it turns us into victims of life. Life is a gift, and you are a conquerer, a rider of the wave, a humble student.
Power of the most beautiful, incredible and lightest joy is at your very fingertips always like a sea breeze on the fringes of your heart waiting to come in.
If we cannot receive love or welcome the flow of abundance in our lives with the faith required, we cannot ever truly experience it.
It is like living in a steel-lined box, 1000 miles from anywhere and wondering why no one ever visits.
Everything in the universe has rhythm, so you can dance with it, or sit in the corner. It’s up to you.
Say no thank you and remember sometimes people’s self-importance is a mirage. It isn’t real, and you don’t have to buy it.
Don’t think you have learned 1 through to 9, because just when you think you have they give you another big fat lesson to absorb. So go buy an Alpaca, they have big eyes, they love to listen and something tells me they don’t need to stand on pedastools.
Finally, the wise words of Maya Angelou
“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”
I confess there were only a few swear words muttered with the lights last year, even though they were a complete Clusterf*ck.
Here is to 2020; a year of possibilities and potential.