This year, I said that I wanted my word of the year for 2018 to be FAMILY. And my oh my, did that bring up some interesting things for us! My husband went through a major family event in the past year, and it really brought a lot of new feelings to our lives. We’ve run the gamut from happy to sad to anxious to stressed to relieved to depressed to accepting. It’s been an insane year.
I don’t want to go too much into the family event, but instead talk about how my year has been, without going into how my husband’s year has been. I can honestly say I’ve gone through some really dramatic emotions. I’m a confident person in many ways, but also really insecure about my own feelings. I feel like I’m constantly doing checks about why I feel the way I feel, and then judging myself to see if I deserve to have these feelings.
Does this happen to anyone else? Like, I’ll do a self inventory for my feelings, and recognize that I’m stressed. Then I’ll identify why I’m stressed, and then evaluate if that is a good reason to be feeling stressed, or if I’m being difficult/needy/weak or something. To be honest, typing this out right now makes me realize how toxic this process is! I feel the way I feel because of the person I am, and no feelings are wrong. By judging my own feelings, I feel like I’m putting myself into a box into how I “should” be reacting based on how others want me to react, or how others want me to be.
The reality is, I’m happy to be the person I am. Going through any major events or stress inputs into your life adds new emotions and reactions. It just does. I react to these stresses in the ways that I’ve always know how to react, which were built from my past experiences. And that’s okay!
This is a little more serious than some of my old blogs, but I think that’s okay, too. I was in a different headspace last year than before this life change came along, and nothing I’ve ever written has been fake or phony (Catcher in the Rye reference, anyone?). So to stay true to myself, I wanted to write about this: about supporting myself in my own feelings, and letting myself react the way that I need to without judgement from myself. If you’re going through anything like this, I support you, too!
Because of this, I feel like this year’s word is something much different than FAMILY, which is referring more to the connections rather than the internal work I’ve done this year. I’ve officially changed my 2018 word to REFLECT. This year has been a chance to reflect on how I feel, how things affect me, how things affect my husband and my life, etc. I work so much to think about how I affect others, but I’m very hard on myself when it comes to how I react to things, rather than just giving myself some grace about my own feelings.
There are still two months left in the month to allow me to continue this reflection, and I want to take more stock in my own reactions.
Happy October! Let’s finish this year strong and get a new word that gives some growth, instead of just more time treading water. 2018 has been an interesting year so far, but one that will ultimately make me a stronger person.