My Year-End Reflection

In one line, I’d say 2019 was a very bittersweet year for me. I would like to say that it was all rainbows and unicorns, but I haven’t quite reached that kind of place just yet. In the past, my normal go-to type of writing piece would have involved me lamenting over the things that fell into that bitter category, but it’s a new year, and on an almost cliché note, it really is a new me. It’s time to talk about the sweeter things and where I am meant to go from here. Perhaps 2020 will be the year of the rainbow unicorn after all.

I started the past year on a low note, and as months went by, I descended further and further into a rabbit hole of negative energy, insecurity, and self-loathing. I didn’t quite realize how much of it was routed in a lack of self-worth as much as I thought it was just the universe conspiring against me at every turn. It was my best-friend who said something to me one day that really triggered something on the inside. She said, “Sean, there is no joy in any of our conversations anymore. There is no happiness left. There is no real laughter. This is not our relationship, and it’s exhausting being a part of this much unhappiness every single day.” She was polite enough to speak in plural form, but I understood the words to be applicable to me alone. She was right—something was so different about me and every thought I would formulate and express. At this point, I could spend days discussing the way I felt at the time, but I’d rather discuss the best decision I made: deciding that enough was enough.

It was never one of my strengths to ask for help, but I finally did it and it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened in 2019. My initial thought was that I’d get in shape, shed some pounds, and wear on a happy hat; I never would have thought the bigger part of the year would be spent reshaping my entire core being. It seems like no time has passed, but it’s been 11 months since I began my journey towards mental and physical enlightenment. What began as an effort to be lose weight and be more time-productive suddenly became an integral voyage of diving deep into my soul and finding the little boy who was lacking love, self-love, affection, attention, confidence, and peace. I started doing things that I not only never did before, but at one point might have even laughed at: meditation, affirmations, diaries, and consistent exercise. These became the tools I needed to use in order to reach that little boy who had been ignored for a very long time, and to be honest, this was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. It’s fascinating how tied to our beliefs we become and how difficult it is to break away from the conditioning our parents and society bestowed upon us—it is very much easier said than done. However, understanding the deeper meaning behind why I was living my life a certain way was beyond critical towards me figuring out how to live my life in a better way. You see, what makes 2019 bittersweet is the fact that is was a year of lessons learned. The bitter part involved the emotional hardship of going through those experiences, but the sweet part came from surpassing every challenge and understanding why it happened, and above all, knowing that it happened for my greater good. Here is what I learned:

I am a light-worker; a person who brings people together, brings out the best in every situation, and is constantly learning in order to be a better person each day. For me to navigate each day, I need to remain grounded and maintain a positive vibration through every circumstance that comes my way. When I lower my vibrating energy, I become susceptible to hurt, stress, and emotional sabotage. I am also unable to be my best when I’m in this state and it has a direct influence on those around me. On an opposite note, when I vibrate at a high frequency, I change the environment around me for the better and become a leader. I motivate people and get them thinking about things that never occurred to them and what they truly desire. When it comes to giving and loving, I need to give all the love to myself first and only then can I give the overflow to others. Loving myself is the key to feeling loved. It turns out that the universe is not conspiring against me, but always conspiring to give me what I want—however, it will only ever reflect to me what I am projecting outwards. My intentions need to be pure and unconditional in order to receive the same in return. On the topic of intentions, I’ve seen firsthand that setting them at the beginning of every day, whether when going to work or to workout, helps me naturally navigate towards goals, lessons, and happiness. I learned that I’ve been following old and outdated concepts, like feeling guilt when someone gives me something and I have nothing monetary for them in return. Or that the only importance in life is to work hard because the roof over my head will suddenly disappear if I don’t. The truth is, many people will give me things, but it doesn’t mean the intention behind it is sincere or something I need to be involved with. Another truth is that there is a life beyond just working and embracing that life does not mean sustenance will run out or expire. I also learned that just because I prioritize ‘me time’ does not mean I am a bad person—similarly, just because I do not take on others’ burdens does not mean I don’t care; it means I am separating what is truly mine to control versus what becomes drama. Perhaps one of the biggest and hardest of the lessons? Understanding that my vibrating energy will attract all types of people, including those who do not have sincere intentions. The proverbial ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ will be a recurring character in my life and I must know what is acceptable for me to welcome into my life versus what is not. In addition to this, another other big lesson? At any given time in any given environment, someone is projecting onto me: the words I’m hearing and the emotions behind them may not be meant for me. As frustrating as it is to be in such a situation, knowing that I need to let it pass over me and not plague me personally continues to be a challenge I work on, but I am now very much aware of.

As I enter this new year and new decade, the biggest lesson I learned is to have to love myself. It seems like an obvious thing to do, but it’s the one thing I’ve never been able to do until now. Loving myself has already changed my life exponentially in the areas of family, friendship, finance, work, and hopefully soon, love as well. I’m still not perfect with this process and I go through periodic struggles, but a year ago it was a challenge for me to even think about the things I love about myself. I didn’t see the values I bring to the table nor the strengths I possess. Now, it’s as simple as this: I am kind, caring, smart, strong, friendly, loving, brave, optimistic, creative, passionate, honest, genuine, funny, and lovable. For anything that I missed in that list, I plan on adding it in 2020 as I realize more and more amazing things about myself. I am not ashamed to admit that in 2019 I needed help to get here, and as much as I would love to take the credit for my discoveries, I had amazing support from my loved ones who continue to support me everyday. The list of things that I requested help with in 2019 has shape-shifted into a completely different list for 2020—the language that used to look like ‘start doing _____’ has transformed into ‘continue experiencing _____’. Where I once complained about not getting enough sleep, I am now frazzled by not having enough hours in the day to invest into hobbies. I went from being a person who was tormented, stressed out, and broken by my workplace, yet married to the job with blind loyalty; now, I’ve realized a completely different career path for myself that involves more learning, more moving, and more evolving. I’ve discovered ‘feel-good’ projects that bring me joy. My physical body has transformed too—no, I’m not some slim model with abs, but when I started going to the gym in 2019, I could barely lift a dumbbell or squat without crying. Now, while I do continue to whine occasionally, I can complete intense circuits with bear-crawls and chest-presses all included.

Overall, I see myself as someone who is very different from the guy I knew last year, and this new person is someone who has shown me how to love myself in many different ways. I am sure that I will continue to meet with the occasional obstacle and challenge along the way, but the bittersweet lessons of the past year along with the navigational tools I received give me the confidence to foresee that in this new year, I will feel nothing but sweetness.

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