It’s been a long, hard year for my health, both physical and mental. Over the last year, I’ve moved across the country, been diagnosed with PTSD, dealt with family problems and others’ diagnoses, struggled to find the right medicines and doctors, developed an eating disorder, sprained an ankle, and regained 50 lbs. Yay for health nightmares! I’m slamming the door closed on this godawful year, and looking forward to (hopefully) better overall health in 2016.
I’m not really making goals for the upcoming year, because my emotional well-being is still so very fragile, and I don’t need the extra stress. Having said that, I’ve thought a lot about the “one word” focus that Sheila talks about, and it struck me immediately that I do have a word for 2016: Healing. Rather than trying to accomplish a list of goals or tasks, I’d like to take the next year off from to-dos and instead focus on healing in mind, body, heart, and spirit/soul.
I’ve felt very stuck over the last few months, despite my best intentions to move forward in these areas. I’m unable to write, or to take steps to improve my physical health, or to properly put to bed the deferred grief that still seems to hit me in waves every few weeks. It helps that I think I’ve finally found the right doctor here, and that I’ve started sleeping without the medicinal aid again. But still, I find ways to self-sabotage, to guarantee failure, to make myself sick in mind, body, heart, soul. And I don’t want to do this. I want to heal.
Recently, I started turning to tarot to help sort out my thoughts, and that has been very helpful. Multiple readings have illuminated a few things for me: I cannot move forward (become unstuck) until I am ready to let go of the things I’ve lost and the things that are holding me back (Five of Cups). I can stay and mourn in this place as long as I need, but I need to stop pressuring myself to move forward until I’m ready to let go, and stop pressuring myself to let go until it’s time. Once it’s time, rather than trying to Heal All The Things, I need to focus first on healing the damage done to my body this last year. This does not mean “weight loss.” It means treating my body properly again – gentle movement, improved nutrition, avoiding the foods/drinks that are actively hurting me, touch-therapy and physical intimacy, speaking kindly to and about my body, and physical self-care. These are the most important, because without them, my mind is too fuzzy/consumed to heal, my emotions are too volatile for my heart/relationships to heal, and my creative energy and soul are too overwhelmed with everything else to focus on the things that heal my spirit.
This isn’t to say that all those other aspects – mind, heart, soul – are unimportant, or that I should ignore them. The last time I focused on my body, I did it with the single-mindedness of the Knight of Coins. The Knights in tarot are like teenagers, seeing the aspect of their suit (bodily and material needs, in the case of coins) as top priority, to the exclusion of all else. This is not what I need right now. What I need to be is the Queen of Coins, who focuses care and concentration on body, material needs, building a home, making the world around her safe. I need to be safe, especially from myself. So that is how I will begin 2016 – taking time to fully be ready to move forward, and then working to heal my body first, with the other parts of me to follow on a path toward whole-self recovery.
I’ll probably make goals, even though I say I won’t. Because that’s just who I am. I’ll probably make quiet goals that I don’t tell anyone about, and then not follow through with them because I promised myself not to make goals. Heh.
Dear modern-day Manda,
Bad years are never fun and you’ve had a few rotten ones in a row. Hang on, okay? I don’t know if the next will be better, or the one after that, but one day, things will be better. Leave this one behind. When you’re ready.