Every year I choose a word to focus on for the year. For the past two years, my word was "Boundaries." The first year was focused on external boundaries and the second year focused on internal boundaries. As I reflect on 2020 and consider my path for 2021, there is a lot to process.**
We have been through it, haven't we? So much happened and didn't happen in 2020. Unfortunately, 2021 has not started too great either. I have also been reflecting on several personal difficulties experienced this year and in years past. I wasn't sure what to do with all the pain, hurt, frustration, and disappointment. I mean, I have been processing and dealing and coping and creating strategies and still, the pile-on is (insert raspberry spitting or your favorite choice word here).
So, what's the deal? How do we heal and move on in 2021 in a healthy way? I highly recommend counseling. I have also learned a lot about myself and those around me through studying the Enneagram. A solid introduction to the amazing world of the Enneagram is The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and his podcast Typology. Another resource that allowed me to learn and explore the concept of internal boundaries is the book Boundaries for Your Soul by Alison Cook, Ph.D., and Kimberly Miller, MTh, LMFT. **
Okay! So, what is my word for 2021 already? I've decided my word is...
A few weeks ago, while listening to the Typology podcast, Ian Morgan Cron said he has a sponsor who says,
"Expectations are resentments waiting to happen." *
I would love to tell you that I had this wonderful epiphany upon hearing the phrase and everything became clear.
That is not what happened.
Instead, hearing the phrase hit me some kind of way. However, I was busy working on all my expectations of Christmas, and in typical Enneagram 7 fashion, I was in no mood for hard feelings. So I tossed it in the back of my mind to ponder later. Big mistake.
The fact is that I am usually pretty good at managing my expectations. What I didn't realize is that I have some long-held expectations of how family, marriage, my relationships with my kids, traditions, and so on "SHOULD" look.
These are expectations that I need to investigate. Did they come from me or my family of origin? Are they bringing me joy or pain? Do they still apply or do they need to be adjusted? What are appropriate boundaries in the context of any expectations that need to be adjusted?
These are not questions that will be easy to answer and I am sure that more will come. Additionally, I want to create positive expectations for myself, my relationships, and my business through healthy goals that are balanced by boundaries and managing my expectations of others.
So, now I will spend 2021 thinking about that word, expectations, and how it applies to my life. The exercise is not just in considering expectations of the past to bring healing, but also being mindful of my expectations moving forward to bring growth.
Now, what is your word for 2021? I would love to hear about it on our social media posts.
* According to the interwebs, the quote Ian Morgan Crohn mentioned is original to Anne Lamott.
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