Happy New Year! Some reflections on reflection and what we want in 2023 (plus links!)
We made it...ish?
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Here’s what’s in this newsletter:
A thought I’m processing on reflection
What we’re wanting this year
Some links to get your 2023 started off right
A full recap & links to this month’s posts
A thought I’m processing [on reflection]
I am not a resolutions person. I am not a manifestation person. Mainly because these things seem to me to be random wishes thrown out into the ether, often without considering why you make the choices you make in the first place. They sometimes neglect the great gift of reflection.
I do some counseling part-time and as anyone who works in mental health will tell you, there is no real ability to engage with the present in a healthy way if you never engage with the past. The ability to remember, notice, and consider - these are great and precious gifts. They are superpowers that allow our minds to reframe the past and make meaning out of it. They are superpowers that make a way for us to do things differently in the future - if we will be brave enough to notice what went wrong and how we contributed.
What I know is that you are not going to wake up one year from now and have a different life without doing anything differently.
Sure, life may bring good and bad that change you. Maybe you will just happen into that dream job or meet a great guy, but those things really won’t be that different if you don’t engage with yourself. Healthier relationships, healthier frameworks, healthier selves —> God has set it up so that these things cannot and will not happen without your own conscious participation.
So to me, that’s a large part of what this time of year is about. A mark in the cal to remind us that time passes with or without our consent. There is so much outside of our control, and one great and glorious thing that is not: ourselves.
I’m not talking about ‘resolving’ to do something differently. I’m talking about the work of reflecting and noticing where and why you have made choices or fallen into patterns that aren’t a part of who you truly are. I’m talking about doing the work of noticing what you need and how you’re currently managing that need. And then making promises or finding new ways to care for those needs this coming year.
If you tap into the most vulnerable part of yourself, what is it that you truly want and need? Where are those pockets of need that were never quite cared for as a child? And what does that part of you need from YOU? Not just from God - but from God in YOU?
What we’re wanting this year
I asked about these feelings this week during a check-in on Instagram. I asked people to tune into the deepest part of themselves - filled with longing - and notice what that part wanted out of 2023. I asked :
do you need to feel more of being known and understood OR loved and cherished?
feel more of being wanted and chosen OR stable and safe
more of feeling significant OR feeling alive
Of course - we all want all of these things, but the prompts sometimes help you listen for what different longings sound like - and notice which ones are loudest right now.
That longing part feels so helpless. We call it your ‘inner child’ just to help us have a sense of its degree of development. It’s like an infant - just longing. Not to be shamed, but to be cared for.
And when we feel it - sometimes it’s ALL we feel - and we feel so helpless - like children ourselves. But there is another part of us - an adult. The wise, true-self within each of us has the resources to care for that inner child.
This is my version of ‘goal setting’ these days —> listening to that longing, and noticing ways that I have failed to protect and provide because I’m waiting for some other grown-up in the room to step in. But I - am a Spirit-filled new creation and kind of a badass who has survived things that not many folks I know would make it through intact. I don’t need someone else to step in. Me and Jesus are capable of caring for this infant within me.
We just need to do a little more listening.
And a little repair. Because I have failed to protect her in a million different ways.
I have forced her into relationships where she isn’t treated well, and I have told her to wait to be wanted instead of reminding her that she is worthy of more. When she’s cried out that she’s weary, I have told her to work harder and produce more, when I should have slowed down and listened and reminded her that significance is not found in the American ideal of productivity and profit. When she’s been afraid and insecure - I’ve rebuked her for not trusting God - instead of singing soothing songs and making promises that I am able to keep.
What does that part - the longing part - need from your true self this year? What boundaries do they need you to set, what provision do they need you to find, and what promises do they need you to make?
Some links to help with reflection
If you need more questions or prompts to help you reflect, here are a few:
A workbook I’ve created to help you reflect and dream ($2.99)
Questions to sit with as the year ends from a trauma therapist
Need more help?
I’m going to be doing two Process Communication Model sessions this Spring (a level one and a level two). These will cover things like:
how to identify your psychological needs in a healthy way and how to get those needs met
the emotions we each avoid and where that comes from in child development
how to handle conflict in a way that feels more safe and stable for US (even if the other person doesn’t change)
What you missed in December
Below are some links to what I’ve shared this month! (Please note that some of
my messier thoughts and musings are behind a paywall. You can read more about why I do that here, and feel free to upgrade your subscription to access them.)
Set your pace on purpose - aka a lecture for myself
The true meaning of Christmas in Taylor Texas - aka Christians are weird
A reflection question - this wasn’t even related to new years!
Feel your worth - aka don’t be afraid to believe you’re worthy
Reflection/Dreaming tools - aka some tools for end of year stuff!
Some goals for your body - aka instagram wouldn’t let me post the full caption so I had to write a separate blog/newsletter
If you know someone who you think might benefit - you could also give them a gift subscription to all this fun content here at the link below!
So, so good. As always, love reading your thoughts!