What did you study this year? What did you learn? What did you teach?
How did you grow in 2011 — mentally, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually?
One of the biggest lessons I learned this year was to release myself from other people's expectations, or maybe it's more truthful to say what I think are other people's expectations. It was a difficult lesson which caused me much turmoil in learning. There were a few events going on in my life and several comments from friends made me feel guilty for how I was going about planning them. Instead, I took it upon myself to try to accommodate them...which, wouldn't you know, not only back-fired but made me feel resentful for having done something strictly for 'them'.
I felt rejected and then betrayed when people I consider close were unable to make my events a priority. I whined to my fiance that I really didn't have any friends, no one liked me and that this was proof I was meant to be a loner or hermit. But after the sting of rejection subsided I reflected on what was really going on in my head, and my heart. What I found was that regardless if 'they' liked me or not, I was at fault for not only placing other people's expectations above my own, but for assuming that I knew what their expectations were in the first place.
I betrayed my own quest for simplicity. I focused on the image I felt I was portraying to others rather than the 'truth'...that I wanted to keep things small and intimate and that although they wanted to share in what was going on, they weren't forcing me to do anything just for them. In reflecting over the past several years of my life I came to understand that the people who are true friends will forgive you if (and when) you let them down, understand and accept your desires, wishes and dreams, and will still wish you happiness and love even if it doesn't involve them directly.