What a fricking year this has been! We have all been battered and thrown around like a piece of driftwood in a tumultuous sea of chaos, confusion and uncertainty. It’s a fact! Some of us have come out more scathed than others, but regardless it has been horrifically rough in some way for every one of us!

Depression and Anxiety are a daily experience for many and Alcohol consumption is at an all time high. Suicide rates are through the roof and school age children are experiencing spontaneous crying due to the heavy and unidentifiable emotions they are experiencing.

As we all “just keep swimming” through life as this year wraps up, I was out running some errands the other day, just to get out of my mind and my house. It was an emotionally rough day for me and it took everything I had to keep the tears from oozing out like a leaky faucet.

During one of the stops I made, the gentleman clerk asked me how I was doing. My response, with a cracked fake smile behind my mask was, “I am doing great!”

I knew it wasn’t the truth, and likely, he probably would have called my BS had he known me better. Regardless, I mustered through the rest of my errands quite anxious to get back to the safe place I call home. All I wanted to do was bury myself under a blanket and pop on some Netflix to distract myself from the heavy emotion. I’m pretty sure I went to bed at 7:30 pm that night just to get the day over with.

The next morning I woke up and the brief interaction with that store clerk came to mind. I thought to myself, “No Tracy you are not fine and why would you say that you were?”

While I know that nobody wants to hear a sob story, I certainly could have been a little more honest and vulnerable.

Then I continued to ponder what that conversation would have looked like on my end had I been 100% honest with that man, and more importantly myself.

Pardon the rant but there is a message in all of this. I actually felt 100% better after I had my little rampage. It was about honoring and acknowledging parts of myself that needed to be heard.

It would have gone a little like this…

Store Clerk: How are you doing today?

Honest Tracy: I’m NOT good, this year has sucked. It has been the worst year of my life. Things have been brutal and confusing and devastating. I have never been so beaten down as I have this last year. Everything has fallen apart and I have never felt so alone and isolated from the world.

My primary business in International Education came to a screeching standstill and I had no idea where future income would come from. My kids and myself have all gone through depression and I could barely keep my own head above water to take care of them.

My entire belief system about who I was and the world around me came crashing down. I had to face some dark shadow sides of myself and deal with so much change that I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt like I don’t matter.

Important relationships of mine fell apart and left me feeling more alone than before. I have 3 kids depending on me and I can’t even tell them what they want to hear. I have no family that lives anywhere near me and I have no one to count on.

It has been a real sh** show of a year and everything that I once knew in my life has changed. There is no sense of normalcy or predictability or consistency anymore and I feel like it is never going to end. I feel hopeless and helpless and just want to disappear! So, THAT’S how I am doing! NOT good! NOT good at all!

(applause from the higher beings)

Now please don’t think this is the victim attitude I carry through life because I am very optimistic and grateful. My point in sending out this message is that I actually felt so much relief when I got honest.

While I did not dump all this on a stranger, I took the time to share my vulnerability and rawness with myself. I gave myself permission to talk about how sucky the last year was and the impact it has had on me.

I know most of you are like me and want to remain positive and hopeful, however, it is important to assess the impact that all of this (COVID, BLM, the riots, the fear, the fires, the election, the empty grocery store shelves, the lost jobs, the quarantines, the deaths, the broken relationships, the loneliness, the drama, the conflict) and anything else has impacted your life in any way.

So as a Self-Love Mentor, I am giving you permission to get honest, get raw, and get vulnerable with yourself. This year has sucked! This year has been hard! And this year has been like nothing else we have ever been through or ever want to go through again!

So give yourself five minutes, open a blank WORD document or pull out a piece of paper and a pen and start dumping. Have your own rampage about what you have been through. And you don’t even have to limit it to 2020. You can throw in some old stuff if you need to from 10, 20 or even 40 years ago.

Let it flow and if the emotions come too, allow yourself to feel what you need to feel. This is a healing exercise that every single one of us needs right now. Get sad, get angry, get frustrated… but most importantly get HONEST! You owe this to yourself.

Encourage those around you to do the same. If you have children, let them share by writing, talking or drawing a picture. Let the energy move.

We have all been witness to a “natural disaster” and we get to process what we have been through and assess the damage. Take the time to honor yourself and your feelings. Yes, it may be uncomfortable but there is pain when you are removing the splinter that has been festering under your skin for a long time.

You are worth it! You got this and you are stronger than you think.

Sending each of you much love and encouragement and please let me know how I can support you in any way! You will get through this, this will end, and everything will be okay.