2020: Year of the Purge.
The Year of the Purge.
What a year! That’s all I could type for several hours. It is hard for me to summarize 2020 in proper, organized context. A lot happened this year in and out of my life. The pandemic brought everything to a stop and still continues to be in a state of fear to this date. We all can unanimously say that "it has changed our lives forever” one way or another. I will remember it as the big purge, changing the way we do things, as individuals and collective society forcing us to stop in our tracks and reconsider life as we know it. Mother Nature put all of us in timeout to reconsider how we have behaved all this time.
The purge reached out into many aspects of our lives, businesses, community and personal life. It is due to this purge that my life changed forever. Like the virus, it happened suddenly and escalated exponentially in a matter of months. An accumulation of things bottled up over the years, and the pandemic lockdown keeping us home 24/7. These conditions acted as the igniter, a catalyst for the bomb that exploded early this year in my personal life. On one side, as one door closed the chances of doing my work in one location, it opened a thousand doors when I decided not to live in fear and go outside my own comfort box. I’ve been able to do my work freely, and on my own terms. The pandemic forced me to expand my reach and not to be confined to one location. This blessing in disguise was not just handed down to me. It took sacrifices and time away from home. Despite of the drastic changes I had to make to make it work, I am grateful for it. I have manifested abundance through service by doing what I love and loving what I do. Like my #1 motivator Zig Ziglar used to say “you can have anything in life, if you just help enough other people get what hey want”.
Life is always looking to balance itself inside and out and things happen when they need to happen. We don’t understand this and fight it to make it our way, our own time and convenience but “everything comes out at the wash”. Problems started to surface in the house and intimate life, exposing years of emotional trauma and unhappiness. Looking back, it was meant to happen at one point, but the lockdown and confinement in my house and not feeling true to myself acted like a pressure cooker and the relief valve was just twisted open. Things started to snowball one into another leading to breakups, betrayals and hurt. I admit I have made some poor decisions on my part and acted in ways that made everything worse. Trust was broken, and the relationships built on that trust came crashing down.
I have lived in a roller coaster of guilt and shame, depression and anxiety, hurt and feeling of loss throughout the year. I just wanted everything to go away, leaving things just like it was. I thought I rather stayed with the old familiar pain and suffering than the uncertainties ahead. I wanted to pack my things and disappear, knowing fully that my problems will follow me wherever I go. Thought of a quick way out, so I could write off this life as a loss and start a new one from a clean slate. But...
God will not give anything more than you can handle.
The universe has a way to teach me lessons. I’ve been experiencing events happening again and that is because I have not learned this lesson fully and thus continues to reappear. Stubborn as I am, I continue to repeat the lesson.
Life is like a boomerang. I can throw the boomerang and watch it go around and catch it with my hand again if I'm doing the right things. I have been looking the other way and the damn thing smacked me hard right on the back of my head.
I had a major breakthrough mid-year where I got to embrace my emotions and feelings with my heart. I’ve been hurt for so long that I hid my emotions in a separate vessel and I shielded myself from it because I didn’t want to feel my pain, much less the pain have caused to those I have loved. I have lived too long inside of my beautiful mind, hiding from pain and deprived my body from feeling those emotions. I lived an illusion for what I thought love was and that affected all of the relationships of my life. When I shifted my attention from my mind to my body, I've experienced emotions I haven't felt in decades and some of these feelings and emotions I've never felt before in my 46 years of life. Emotions that I have blocked out during my childhood and teenage years for not knowing how to address them properly. Deep rooted trauma surfaced. This brought some clarity as to why I acted the way I did in all of my intimate relationships.
I realized that I have been distracting myself for a long time, avoiding to face these issues. All my life, I have been distracted by work, traveling, hobbies and my lifestyle. Even the service I do in the community I work became a distraction. An altruistic one at that but nevertheless a distraction. Holding space for people for the past two and half years, putting my emotions aside for the greater good because I love what I do and do what I love. Not enough time to si between transitions because life got in the way. Little did I know that I was neglecting from feeling myself and therefore not dealing with those feelings and emotions.
Life was not balanced; the purge was inevitable, letting go of what no longer served me. Everything that was once pure and beautiful, perfect in my own ways had to be burned down to the ground. When all was lost, it is then when I started to rebuilt the new.
The purge of this infamously-glorious year also left me with a question to ponder. A question posed many times but never got to really look into it until now. “Who am I?” this goes beyond my purpose in life. Who would I be if I didn’t have the “job” I have, the place I work, the clothes I wear? What would it be for the life of Carlito’s if I am not defined by what I do, by my story?
I recently watched the animated movie “Soul” by Disney-Pixar movies. I loved the story but the most I got about the message of this movie was from watching the clips of how this movie was made. It’s fascinating to watch how it was created, the story behind it, the characters, music, everything. Listening to the people involved in making the movie was priceless at this very moment of my life.
In summarizing the major takeaways about the meaning of this movie about life:
We all have our light and dark side. On the light side, doing positive things and following our passions can bring growth and a sense of purpose in our lives. On the other side, the dark side, diving into passion and drive can exclude us from really living. It can blind us from the gifts that we might walk right pass because we are so focused on this one thing that we think is THE most important for us.
The idea of this movie is that “life has meaning for both what our talents are, and what we are driven to do but more importantly are the small moments of life, the day -to- day stuff that really matters the most. Living a meaningful life is a synthesis of both. Understanding that life is a gift and we should do whatever we can to make the most of it”.
“You’re not only what you do”
The purpose and meaning of life are living in the moment and making the best out of it. Life is not all about pink ponies and having everything we want. It is how we live it. How we act with others, how we respond to the things that life throws at us, and how we can do the best we can, do what matters most.
There is no reason for me to wallow in my misery about my failed relationships, my inability to communicate better and my other faults and weaknesses. I believe it is good to sit and play in the mud for a while to get to see how dirty I can get but more important is to learn from that experience full and through, be honest with myself and others and do my best to make amends. To bring my life to balance, harmony and peace. To bring the very best version of Carlos to the world, letting go of what no longer serves me, keep what it does serves me and have my hands open to receive the blessings reserved for me in this new year. Those are my intentions for this new year 2021. To let go in order to move forward. I claim this year for me as the year of the phoenix, rising from the ashes.