2016 was a rough go for a lot of us, and now we'll have to deal with the aftermath in so many ways. (Inauguration Day is coming up and I can barely stomach the thought.) But still, we must find a way to champion on.
I dreamed I was an older, wiser version of myself, and I was teaching a class about perception. (I know, it's weird. Bear with me.) Everything I said to this classroom full of young faces, was everything that I needed to grasp, in order to move on from my current state of emotions - that the hurt that people may give you, the situations that seem may insurmountable, can all be slayed by one simple trick: your individual perception of what is happening.
When somebody blames you, it is so much more than the "act" that they blame you for. It's their perception of your action from within their own personal struggles, and how they process and deal with it. If you hurt or harm another, and even when you give love or loving actions to someone, what you give is not exclusively about what you gave - that is entirely up to their perception and interpretation of what was offered.
I have this friend who used to love making homemade greeting cards. He simply enjoyed the sketching and drawing and heart-felt sentiment. His friends loved them. His sister thought he was too lazy to go to the store, and too cheap to buy an actual card. The difference is in the person receiving.
So you see, everything is entirely up to us. How we navigate the world in peace through trying relationships, trying times, things out of our control (like ants storming up window ledges) is all about how we choose to perceive the situation. This seems simple, but man... it's not. And it goes much deeper than "let's make lemonade out of lemons!" - although I've always loved that saying. It's the work that we must do within ourselves to achieve a peaceful existence.
I met a young girl through an incredible organization I offered my styling services for called Freedom and Fashion. She was the victim of sex trafficking from her own family, her own grandmother - who offered her up for sex in exchange for money since she was a child. This young warrior doesn't blame her grandmother, the woman who was supposed to protect and guide her, but rather she found true forgiveness, by deciding to simply change her perspective on the situation. She said "my grandmother was just living in desperation, she didn't know any other way." And now this girl is free. And thriving.
So can we get back to the Rain Room? The morning after this blissful dream, I awoke with a new sense of self. With residual echoes of my "wiser" self still lingering, I decided to change my perspective on what was currently troubling me, and well, my life in general.
And do you know what happened? I had the most beautiful day. I decided to put my focus into the things that I can control, like the way I feel inside when I'm doing my best. I gave my focus and my love to my daughter, and we took an excursion to see art - and an exhibit I had been dying to see since it opened.
As we waited in line to enter the experience, our museum guide cautioned that if we choose to move through quickly, erratically, and just storm through the exhibit without regard to others, we'd get completely soaked. However, if we move slowly and carefully, and together (amazingly - the more people surrounding you, the less rain that would fall), we'd stay safe and dry and warm.
Which made me think about how much the support of others can also help, too. (The Rain Room - a metaphor for life!) But still... and in the end, it's all entirely up to us. In essence, the more work we do on ourselves, the less likely we'll be to get wounded by others - because the hurt will have no power.
I'm going to start calling it my love shield.
And that feels like a fresh, new start for 2017.