I’m a little late to the party this year.
Each year, I choose a word to hold in mind throughout the year. It’s my answer to New Year’s resolutions, which never seem to stick. They feel like medicine. A word, on the other hand, evokes a feeling or a vision I can hold. So much more palatable than medicine.
And now, the caffeinated among you are pointing out: “But we’re five months into 2017.”
Touche, my friends.
Usually, the word comes to me fairly effortlessly. I start my year with it top of mind. Not this year. I racked my brain, thinking and thinking. Nothing. I finally gave up in early March, settling on some long, convoluted phrase I won’t share here because I can barely remember it.
I let the part of my brain fixated on this endeavor lie fallow. For, roughly, half of the year.
A decade or so ago, this would have been unacceptable. I would have berated myself for not being “on” this. But, having just entered a new decade of my life—I can safely say, with age comes wisdom.
The word finally came to me not because I willed it to, but rather because I sat my overtired, hyper ass down and allowed it to come.
2017 is the year of “allow” for me.
I was raised in a hard-working Midwestern family. I come from fairly stoic ancestors. Life and hard work were valued.
I have found there is no alchemy in that equation.
Sometimes our “work” gets in the way of what the Universe has planned for us. And it is only by sitting back, getting quiet and allowing things to flow to us, that they happen as they should.
I understand a large segment of the population will view this as passive, rather than wise. It is anything but the path of least resistance. As my eldest chooses a college and a degree in Applied Science that I never in a million years would have chosen, I allow. Despite how vastly different it is from what I pictured for him in life, I allow him to follow his gut. He has always had a strong gut feeling. Even at age four, his preschool teacher commented on how he pursued what he wanted with a dogged determination. I allow him the reins to his own life, and with those, the consequences that may come.
I allow my youngest, a bookish child, to struggle with the more down-to-earth tasks in life. From a lawnmower that won’t start, to organizing his messy bookshelves, I no longer rescue him at a first failed attempt. I allow him to struggle. I allow him the sweet feeling of mastery that comes when a seemingly difficult task becomes an infinitely doable one.
And perhaps most difficult of all, I allow myself the knowledge that life is not predictable. I allow living on that razor’s edge, not knowing what life will look like in a month’s or a year’s time.
No, allowing is not passive. In my experience, it’s pretty darn hard. It means fighting our natural tendency, the one our culture fosters, to control.
I guess I’m not the only one who sees the value in allowing. Ukrainian writer Vironika Tugaleva says: “So let yourself fall open . . . Just allow. Allow in love. Allow pain. Allow desire. Allow learning. Allow healing. Allow frustration. Allow uncertainty.”
If that sounds scary, it is. Sometimes. And other times, I am learning, it is an absolutely delicious feeling. It feels right.
Allow yourself the chance to experience it.
40 Comments Add yours
I resonate with your word allowance candid, it’s a message to our human self to back off and allow consciousness to guide us further in a new adventure beyond… My word this year came to me quite soon… compassion but I didn’t understand what it entailed until now… it’s all about being there for my self first… the rest with flow. Much love, barbara x
You pegged it! It’s about getting out of the way of a wiser divine intelligence. I like your word also. I have always thought compassion a beautiful word, not just in meaning but in the way it rolls off the tongue . . .
So are you going to join our compassion adventure Candid? To write about what compassion means to you and be featured on my blog…? http://memymagnificentself.com/2017/01/16/want-appear-guest-blogger/ love barbara x
Ooh. I love this idea:). Let me noodle on the post and I’ll email you. Thanks for thinking of me! And I can’t wait to check out some of the posts already up on your site.
Wonderful… the next slot is 2 September so you have time to noodle… Thankyou so much for joining in this inspirational adventure. X barbara x
As always… “You better speak that Kay!”
Powerfully powerfully written, while cloaked in the robes of eloquence!
Can’t say I don’t testify:). Thank you!
Lots of places and ways to go with that word. My first reaction was that it’s a strange word for the year but once I thought about it and read the rest of your post, I can see the range and possibilities.
BTW…the word thing is a great idea…:)
I am sure you are not the only one who thought it was a strange word :-). But, for those of us who tend to get caught up in how we think things “should be,” it makes complete sense.
I read this post twice, having a hard time wrapping my head around what “allow” would mean to me. Finally (I’ll be the first to admit I’m slow in the wisdom department), I think I understand what you’re going for when I reframe your mid-year affirmation in terms of its opposite.
My tendency is to resist. (you used the word control, which is probably better). Resist change. Resist intrusion from others into my tightly secured little world, and resist the unpredictable.
So I completely agree with you. Allow-ing others to follow their path, and allowing events to impact my little world, is not a passive action. Don’t know if I’m ready for it yet, but it would be awesome if I could.
Thanks again Kristine, I’ll be looking your way to see how it goes.
Oh, I’m sometimes a messy example:). But, I try. If effort counts, I’m stellar:). It’s the opposite of saying, “No, this is not how I pictured it.” And stopping our usual knee-jerk reaction for a potentially more enlightened one. I wish us both luck:).
Allow. What a powerful word. I think I do an adequate job of allowing others; I don’t do as well with myself. I’m going to have to think about that.
Well, you’re ahead of me. I have to work on both:)!
Now that is an excellent word!!
A very interesting word for the year – allowing is often the hardest thing.
You’re tellin’ me, sister:). Hard is right!
What a beautiful quote by Tugalva. It is one I will add to words that inspire me. Great choice of word for you also!
I’m honored those words make your list! Amazing what inspiring bits can do for us on a tough day:).
You have hit upon the key to life. The more we are able to allow life, the more love can flow through us. In fact, my experience of God – I’ve called it unconditional love – is actually total allowance. Complete acceptance. Allowing with no resistance. Unity. I love your word of the year. And yes, often very challenging.
Thank you:). I think it’s no coincidence that as I’ve continued to seek spiritually, concepts like allowing have come up. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments!
Allow is the only word to bring peace. Lovely Kristine 💕
It sure does bring peace for me:).
This is a fantastic post, and I am so enlightened by your words. ‘Allowing’ is not a simple thing, but despite the level of difficulty involved, it is so important each of us do. And you have explained beautifully why we should. I love this. All of it.
Thank you! If we could all loosen the reins a bit, oh the comfort.
An interesting discovery ‘allow’. It is on all our paths, from neanderthals to men (and women) in tuxedo’s 😀
And it can’t be truly found until we remove what blocks it…our fears. You must have had a great week…or couple of years Kristine…otherwise ‘allow’ would be still a dream. Well done! I hope you ‘allow’ this year to be a great discovery…of you 😀
I hadn’t thought of it that way, Mark–the great week or year preceding:). Or maybe I’m just getting better at the whole mixed bag thing! One can hope . . .
You will be surprised in what you ‘allow’ you to do these days Kristine. It is after facing the hard parts in life, as you have in the last couple of years, that you realise that you now ‘allow’ yourself to do many things that before you would not have … instead of the worlds expectations. You will have even dropped your own expectations and just ‘allowed’ you to be you. It’s called loving yourself, and you are doing it well 😀
Hang this word up on the wall, it is more powerful than you will ever know 😀
Thank you, Mark. You’re oh so right. Allowing has made me much nicer to
Super post. This resonates with me. Sometimes it comes in a flash, that instant knowledge that in this particular case, not-allowing is a pointless, painful, even a damaging exercise. Suddenly the struggle turns to delight, relief, freedom! I’m remembering the day that I realised my daughter WOULD choose her own clothes or die in the attempt — and what the heck did that matter? I had much to gain by giving in. And so at four, off she went happy as Larry in yellow tights, red tartan skirt, purple sweater and orange hat. Looking terrific!
Oh, I am so smiling at that outfit. What a personality coming through! And I love that that is one of the ways she chose to show the world who she wise :-). I guess allowing is a lot like acceptance.
All true. And in a flash I saw who she was and how great she looked and how if I just gave in, there would be less work for me. Win win right down the line. I also thought, kids have to win sometimes.
I don’t think that word would have come to me but it is something I try to do. Forgive is the word I am playing with right now (although it might not be right yet either). It is mostly about forgiving myself but it is so negative that maybe allow will work. Maybe I’ll have it by December 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
Allow resonated with me because every time I want to think that I am in total control-particularly when something I don’t like is happening-it is a reminder to me to breathe, step back and let the universe do its work. Best of luck figuring out your word!
“Delicious” is right!
Yes:). Relaxing in a supremely satisfying way . . .
Ah yes. The beauty of wisdom.
We have to have some tradeoff for these fine lines, right? 🙂