2017 was a chaotic mess for me. A dear friend of mine used the analogy of my life as a tree ... and 2017 lopped off every branch. I was left standing there, limbs bare, shivering in the metaphorical wind. I felt alone, even when surrounded by people who loved me. I was hurting, and I hurt others — not my proudest moment.

But recently, something interesting started to happen.

Tiny shoots of truth sprouted at the jagged ends of my once full branches. I stopped giving in to that roaring negative voice in my head, the one telling me that everyone was out to get me. I started to pay attention to who was showing up in my life and it helped me rebuild the trust I had lost within myself. Little by little, I began to grow back.

It wasn’t obvious at first and I didn’t really feel any different, but slowly I started to unfurl again as if the tightness I held within could no longer sustain me. Did I wake up one day and suddenly feel whole again? Hell no! Waking up from this inner coma has been a process of asking myself some difficult questions (and accepting the answers that followed):

Do you want to spend every single day of your life like this?
No, no I don’t. I want to feel alive and be happy.

How do you want to be remembered?
As someone who gave up, or as a courageous woman who looked fear and pain in the eyes, and smiled? Definitely as someone who stared fear and pain down, and never gave up.

What if everything is happening FOR you, not against you?
If everything is happening FOR me, then this is all part of the process. I will find happiness again!

Being honest is difficult — being honest with yourself is very confronting. I’m not sure why it’s so complicated to ask myself simple questions about how I feel, what I want or who I think I am. I have no problem asking the people in my life about their goals, fears, and dreams; why do I get so caught up in my inner web?

I have everything I need already, but sometimes the answers to the questions I seek are cloaked in insecurity, past hurt or expectation. Wholeness comes from an acceptance of every part of who I am, not just the good stuff. That’s why this last year has been so illuminating for me — I got to shine a light on the darker sides of my personality. It was ugly, but now I know what I’m capable of, I can set the right boundaries to ensure I don’t repeat the same patterns over and over.

For me, happiness is a particular combination of things I like to do; activities such a time spent in my body, on a walk or in yoga, that bring lightness, ease, and freedom. Or it may look more restful, like at the end of a yoga class, lying on my back in Savasana. Or it may even look like making my favorite meal and watching old episodes of Dawson’s Creek. Happiness is also a languid conversation with a dear old friend, as much as it's the wheels of a plane leaving the tarmac as I jet off on another adventure.

Learning how and when these things need to happen is my current goal, and it’s all one big experiment to find the winning combination. But now that I’m starting from a place of wholeness, where I give everything and everyone the benefit of the doubt, it’s becoming easier to hear myself amidst all the noise of life.

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Dr. Marion Piper is a work in progress, currently living that copywriter life in Melbourne, Australia, working for Avion Communications. You can get to know her better on Instagram or check outher blog, The Daily Journal.

 

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