My wish for you in 2010 is for personal growth from deeper relationships!!!
It’s been a few weeks since the new year started, and I wanted to wish everyone who reads this a Happy 2010. In particular, I am very grateful for all my family, friends, coaches, and colleagues…and wish them a great 2010. For the past 5 or 6 years, I’ve written something like this in my blog on New Years Day (though, the old blog is currently on hiatus). While I wanted to write this on New Year’s day and thought about it long before and since, I didn’t have a full sense of what to say…until last night…so, here it is:
As many others experienced, 2009 was probably the craziest year in my life…it was both terrible and super.
It was terrible to face a relatively short period of very deep depression in the latter part of the year. While provoked somewhat by being downsized, I found that really wasn’t the root cause of my depression…at the time, I didn’t really know what was causing me to feel so awful. It was surprising to find out so many people faced depression in 2009. For anyone that has been through a clinical depression, you know it’s not fun. If you have NOT been through it, a) imagine something you have strongly and emotionally dreaded doing, b) multiply that feeling by 100, and c) have it on your mind 24×7 whereby it drowns out most other thoughts. This should give you a decent picture of how it feels. The part that I never expected was that it’s not easy to shake “the feelings” without a hell of a lot of work to retrain your brain…in fact, some of the training involves physical changes to the brain…very much like training muscles.
What is super about 2009 is that I learned some tremendous lessons about life…and the journey we are all on:
1. It may sound funny, but my relationship with myself was without compassion. In fact, I was beating myself up about certain things for about 20 years…I didn’t realize I was even doing it…and I also didn’t know it was making me miserable!!! What I found out is that something can be making you very unhappy, and you aren’t even aware it is happening.
2. While it was already good, my perspective on interpersonal relationships drastically changed. All along the way in 2009…before, moving into, being in, and getting out of depression…various people in my life showed that they cared about me in amazing ways, small and large, deserved or not. Their care was given out of kindness, compassion, love, and good will. It cost them very little to give the encouragement, kind words, or thoughts, and it was worth a tremendous amount to me. People and relationships are quite amazing if you stop and truly observe, embrace the relationship, let the relationship evolve…don’t hide or put it off…don’t rebel against it…pay attention to it…get closer…give it respect. What I discovered is that relationships often have unexpected value…experiencing human relationships and interactions…these are like finding precious stones on the street…you have no idea how valuable they might be when you first see them.
In experiencing both terrible and super perspectives, I left 2009 with some clarity and insight about personal growth from human relationships…that I wish for you in 2010:
1. I wish you a new sense of the relationship you have with yourself…that you can be patient, supportive, and fair to yourself…that you know what you need and you give yourself what you need. This sounds funny, and I didn’t know what this meant until the end of 2009…but it actually was life-altering. Since it is ambiguous, I’ll also offer a related wish (something more concrete), I wish that: you can see your life’s purpose to be the best “you” that you can be, to feel a sense of worth from serving your fellow human in whatever you do, and you discover that joy is everywhere you look if you let yourself see it. These are hard to do daily or build a discipline to keep in mind all the time…but these were amazingly powerful things I learned and wish for you in 2010.
2. I wish you a new sense of deepening relationships with others. We all are human…we all have flaws, issues, failures, and imperfections…we all have so much in common…we share the air we breathe, we have a brain that generates thoughts and feelings constantly and with little pause, and we experience thousands of interactions with other people during our lives. What I wish for you is…to know you make a difference to others every day. I wish you truly and completely experience making a difference to another person just in the tone of your voice or by saying “hello” to a stranger. I wish you interact with someone this year…in a way that ultimately leads you to have a huge impact on their life 10 years from now…and I wish you live this year knowing that it could be anyone you come in contact with (pause and think about that). In 2009, people I met 28 years ago had a huge impact on my life…people I met 12 years ago, 6 years ago, 3 years ago, and even one year ago…all had a big impact on me in 2009…I didn’t know this would be the case when I met them or interacted with them over time. In looking at life this way, it creates a new view of how important relationships are, how they have completely unanticipated impact, and how people value each other. I wish this perspective for you in 2010…that your relationships with others grow deeper.
These experiences were blessings for me in 2009…and I wish them for you in 2010.
With Love and Gratitude,