What does it mean to have a word of the year? Well, I’m not sure when I made the conscious decision. Sometime in 2010. But rather than having a resolution for the New Year, I started choosing a word or more aptly, setting an intention for the year ahead. Sometimes the word is something I need to work on or incorporate more of into my life, like 2013’s “surrender”. Sometimes it is a means to all other ends, like 2012’s “pray”. Other times like last year’s “surprise” it is a challenge for myself to be different in my spaces. Whatever the wish for the word, it never ever takes shape in the ways I expect. I am always caught off guard by the way it manifests itself into my year and am blow away by how much it teaches me.
This year, I was debate between three words. “Love” “Heal” or “Go”. My thought was that I wanted 2015 to be about action, nothing passive. I quickly decided “heal” was too much of 2014 and that I would like to tell myself a different story in the coming days. One that did not consist of be being a person in need of healing. Even despite world events, I needed to be and feel whole. Because that was true. I do feel whole, and healthy. I did not want to speak illness or dis-ease into my year.
Next, was the battle between “go” and “love” and it boiled down to a simple point. In counseling to illustrate the counseling process I often sit in a chair and have students tell me how to open the door. First they say “get up walk to the door and open the door” and I rebut “how do I get up?” They continue “push off with this foot or push down with this hand and…” And I ask how again, and it continues like this down to the specific muscle until they understand the fact that it is never a simple process. Some people need more time and direction than others and sometimes the progress is the tiniest flex of a muscle. Well, when I thought about “go” I quickly recognized that I did not want to move anywhere if I was not first flexing my love muscle. I wanted to move in love, towards love, with love. So there it was.
Why love? I would be lying if I said it was all platonic or internal. I thought I was ready to love last year but I wasn’t. I was still operating at 70% and that might be too generous. Much of me was hidden or in bandages. But I offered up my pieces, only when I saw the fragments mirrored back at me in partners I quickly realized that it was insufficient. So I worked on me. Told myself some harsh truths and showed up for myself. It’s still in progress but I’ve come a way.
So my love in 2015 is romantic. It is also essential. Key to survival; I want to live in such a way that there is no question how much I love myself. Eat like I love myself. Run like I love myself. Rest like I love myself. Speak like I love myself. Live like I love myself. I want to magnify me, not in the self important ego sense but in a way that honors one of Gods creations.
So that is how this word came to be and I’m excited to see how love unfolds. What relationships will stay constant and which will fall like autumn leaves. How the writing and research process goes and how I can pour love into my work. Love better. Love more. Love honestly. It’s all part of my intention. Excited as always to see what happens next.