I honestly didn’t think I had a resolution for this year, but looking back on how things have gone in 2020 as well as in the years past, I guess I do.
The first two deal with boundaries and the third is aspiring to become a better person, although in hindsight it’s too vague to be actionable. I think I finally have the whole concept of boundaries understood. Just need more practice stating them clearly and holding them. And truth be told, in 2019, I worked really hard in figuring out what my needs are and how to state them clearly and directly. Still working on that.
Last year when I did my birthday reading, I thought it was about building my soul tribe and restoring my faith in society. The year of 2020 brought the Covid-19 crisis and instead of all that, I have really been finding myself questioning how, when, and why I invest my time in the people that I do.
When I started to do my birthday reading this time around, I didn’t finish it. The growth card for this year is the Lovers. Yeah, sure, most people think romance. I seldom ever do with this card. When I see this card I think of how we make the choices we make and why, which centers upon the our core values. And when you think about it, our core values is what determines the types of relationships we have. I got as far as the “mentor card” in this reading, which was the Devil and most people can agree that it represents the chains that bind you.
So put the reading on hold and I’ve just been thinking about this pairing in context of how this past year has been going and what I’ve been ruminating on. What has been frustrating me the most and why.
It’s important to note that a key aspect of the Lovers is the way energy flows. Or should I say, the exchange of power between two people. In a healthy relationship, the power between the two is flowing in both directions. This is the dynamic nature of it. Now, in an unhealthy relationship, the power flows in one direction and become critically imbalanced. If the energy isn’t flowing at all, the relationship is dead or dying.
One of the other meanings for the Lovers is autonomy. And this is something to keep in mind when it’s paired with the Devil. The reason I say this is because I have yet to meet a single person, myself included, that has ever been stuck in an abusive relationship that doesn’t have loyalty as a core value.
And this is one of the things abusers look for, because if loyalty isn’t a core value then you’ll quickly bail on their bullshit. Simple as that. But the other thing is that it’s not enough to just be loyal for these toxic people. You also need to have some false beliefs of some kind around them.
And when you have a skewed belief or view on what loyalty is or means, it becomes very easy for these people to take advantage of it. It’s then easier to slowly erode your belief that you have any personal power, or autonomy, because abuse doesn’t happen all at once in the first day. They chip away at it, little by little. And because of this, you give away your power little by little and lose your autonomy.
One day you wake up and realize you’re in a nightmare with the belief you can’t get out. Your messed up partner believes they have all the power and will exercise that to the fullest. It’s a scary place to be in. And sadly, in most cases, you’re now trying to figure out how to take your power back and stay alive in the process.
Let me clarify something here, yes, I “gave away my power” as they say. And maybe you did too. But fuck any and all those assholes out there that convince anyone that they have none in a relationship. Just fuck them. Really hard not to give your power away when you’re staring death in the face. I will never blame you or anyone else for surviving. Just putting that out there.
So the question for myself here becomes, what am I really being loyal to here? Because it’s not really to this abusive person, is it? I didn’t really like it and I wanted to leave, right? So here’s the thing: forced allegiance isn’t truly allegiance just like how forced consent isn’t really consent.
To give context to this question, back when I was still married to Little Bear’s father and things were really bad, I had a therapist tell me to just get divorced – like it was the easiest thing in the world. Like, this woman really pushed it hard. I didn’t actually make the decision to get a divorce until a year prior to my ex filing. I told him sometime in 2016. Up until then, the mere mention of it created a crisis within me.
Again, the question I ask myself is what was I being loyal to? I wanted out. I wanted all the bullshit to stop. I wanted to be free to live my life in peace. So why did the idea of a divorce create so much fear and distress? Even when I look back at it, I don’t know, yet.
So what does any of this have to do with now? Well…
Resolution for 2021
My Autonomy and Personal Power
I’m going to set boundaries on how I manage and invest my time, attention, energy, and money. I’m going to focus on people and activities where I feel good, uplifted, productive, and energized. If I’m left drained or find myself in a negative space then I’m going to do less of that, if at all. I am not obligated to manage or invest any of my resources in a manner that someone else desires.
And yeah, I’m revisiting this song, “I Will Not Bow” by Breaking Benjamin, as the theme for this coming year. Again.
So tell me, what do you intend to work on this year?