2016 was a big year. It was full of discoveries and full of heartache. Change was the theme of this past year, but I have a feeling 2017 has even more change in store. I’m terrified, full of grief, excited and enjoying the freedom that life has to offer all at the same time.
The past 6 years have been all about self discovery, but 2016 was at lightning turbo speed. It hurt and at times was crushing but the pain created massive growth I wouldn’t have gone through otherwise. You just can’t learn some things the easy way… or maybe that’s just me, but I doubt it.
Important things I’ve learned this year:
1. Toxic people and relationships need to be removed no matter how important they are to you and no matter how much you love the other person/people.
I was stuck for a while in a destructive cycle with certain individuals. I’ve had to let several people go this year. I had people in my life that didn’t respect me, treated me poorly, tried to control my actions and who I was and who didn’t have my best interest in mind. These were also people I loved dearly and who told me they loved me too. These were people I would have done anything for and people I was helping at the cost of myself, my happiness and my sanity. Breaking off the relationships I did were some of the hardest choices I had to make. But by keeping what was unhealthy I was making a decision every single day to be miserable. If I didn’t want to be miserable I had to start making different choices because at the end of the day the only person that can determine my happiness is me. That didn’t make it any easier though and I still had to grieve the loss of those relationships.
2. I don’t have to do anything or be anyone in particular to be important in this world. I’m important and have value simply for existing.
I have a friend who is another Mistress. What I love about her is that she asks me the hard questions and won’t let me get away with bullshit when it comes to the answer. After spending an afternoon with her I cried all the way home because I realized the reason I find myself in care-taker roles and enjoy doing whatever I can to make the the life of those around me better is because that’s where I was receiving my value and importance. And since that’s where I received my value sometimes I would do things for others to the determent of myself. I had to learn that I don’t have to do a damn thing to be important. I exist and I’m here therefore I have value and I am important. I am precious as fuck.
3. I have more choice and freedom than I thought I did.
I can do whatever I want. My choices are not without consequences, but the reality is I can do whatever I want. I can run down the side of I-25 butt ass naked if I wanted. Not without the consequence of getting arrested I’m sure but if that was something I wanted bad enough, I could do it. Of course that’s a silly example but I’m just making a point. This also comes in play when people try to make choices for me. I do not allow anyone to tell me I cannot do anything, even if it’s something I would choose not to do on my own. That’s because I make choices for my life and what I do with it and if I allow another person to choose what I will and will not do, I am giving them power over me. If I choose to give someone else power over any aspect of my life that is still MY CHOICE and I can choose to change that choice at any time. If someone tries to take that power without my choosing, that’s when I have a problem and if you pay attention you will notice that people try to take that power non consensually all the time.
4. Making choices to serve me and what’s best in my life is not a selfish action.
I used to base the majority of my decisions on how it might make others feel or affect others even if it meant choosing something that might not serve me or allow me to be my best authentic self. I felt selfish otherwise. I had a wise woman share with me, “Making a choice to serve yourself is not selfish. What is selfish is when you have your needs met and you keep taking from others especially if you are harming others in your over abundance of taking.” I have to be true to me and make choices that reflect that. It’s not only not selfish, it’s the healthiest thing I can do.
5. Being authentic to myself and who I am is the healthiest choice I can possibly make for my life, and to violate who I really am only harms myself.
Being authentic is hard. It’s hard as fuck. You know why? Because other people already have an idea of who you should be, what you should look like and how you should act. Your family has standards, your job has standards, your friends have standards and society has standards. Everybody is telling you who you should be all the fucking time!! And if I am going to be completely honest, if your going to be authentic to yourself you are going to disappoint some of these people and it’s going to hurt. You are going to be told your authentic self is wrong, and sometimes you are going to feel like you don’t belong. But the reality is that being your authentic self threatens others because you are living a life that is going against the grain and it rips a hole in people’s perception of the world. It shows others that they too have choice to be themselves and it makes other people uncomfortable. Believe it or not some people find comfort in living by societies unwritten rules. People like me challenge that and other people don’t like it. I’m going be my authentic self anyway because at the end of the day I’m not doing it for anybody but myself. I have to live with me and me is much easier to live with when me is happy. Anyone else I might live with is a choice but I always have to live with me.
6. Love by itself isn’t enough.
In being authentic to yourself you have to give room for others to live authentically too. You can love another person and that person can love you but if being authentic to yourselves looks different enough that love isn’t going to carry you through. No one should should be forced to sacrifice who they are, not even a portion. Some lives are not compatible even if the people are wonderful and awesome. Every one has different needs and everyone deserves to be themselves.
These were important and hard lessons I had to learn to but I am glad I did. I hope 2017 goes a little easier on me or at least uses a whole lot more lube. I’m a little sore.