Well, we just celebrated the East Coast NYC Ball drop. In California (You’ve gotta love that three hour time difference when you want to go to bed early!). It was complete with with sparkling apple cider and thrilled kids–especially the youngest who kept toasting his glass while shouting, panicked, “WHAT DOES IT MEAN!? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!” (Sorry, Eli. Even thought it isn’t exactly what you were asking, no one really knows what’s in store for 2021!) What we do know that 2020 is behind us! And with it, the year that prompted deep excavation into many of our hearts faded.
But even though the year faded, the excavation is still ongoing.
Soft: A Year of Contrasts
For me, my word for last year was soft. And not soft like our one-eyed kitty, but soft as in pliable; soft as in contrast to hard. 2021 was my year to embrace the dialectics of being both soft/hard, beautiful/strong, vulnerable/confident, and a princess/warrior. I think you’d be a little nervous too if you knew that word was yours!
Sometimes it is easier for me as a leader and a woman lead at that, to put up a front. It doesn’t mean that it is fake or that I am not being authentic. It just means I’ve curated and become pretty decent at living out this this aspect of who I am. a little more than tI can be strong, a fighter for good and move with confidence. That is still me. But even though I regularly work on self-care and try to be open to God doing internal work in me, this year pulled back that one-sided identity and gave me two sides.
And in that, 2020 was a year of lots of heat–squishing and squashing, molding and shaping. Pressure and weight where I often found myself praying, “It’s too much! It’s too much, God.” He would respond, “I am enough.” And I the plying went deeper and deeper, where my soul was exposed.
There is nothing like being laid out, bare, exposed, to be examined. The metaphors of museums, autopsies, and surgery flowed together. My prayer became a poem, I’d return to time and time again.
I am excited to share that this poem was picked up by Ekstasis Magazine. You can check it out here.
Actually, I was just going to share a snippet here to whet your appetite, but it just has to be read all together! And as it only takes a minute to read, head over to Ekstasis! (If you want the full version, contact me and I’ll give you access).
So this my challenge for you. Are you willing to go to those deep places in 2021? (Or whatever year you read this?)
An Excavation is Better Than a Tonsillectomy
I ended this year with a tonsillectomy. The recovery has been excruciating, but I am hoping the results will make it worth it. And although the excavation, examine, autopsy of 2020 has also been painful, it is a fresh pain that brings beginnings. Just like my surgeon assured me, the process feels scary, but it is safe. The pain is cleansing. Overcoming grief, betrayal, heaviness, anxiety, conflict, trauma, fear, hard choices, family struggles, health issues (to name some) is making me more fully alive. I actually like (and see the results) of what it has molded me into. So time and time again, with gratitude of my transformation (even with the steep cost), I’ve becoming a little more willing to surrender to the process. Or should I say . . . more soft and pliable?
But the earth has circled the sun and 2020 is past. Now, I am welcoming in 2021 with boldness.
Do you do a word for the year? If so, what is it? Tell me in the comments!