Believe it or not, I really don’t particularly enjoy self-reflection. I’d much to prefer to only have to live it once and then sweep it under the rug, forget about it, and pretend it didn’t happen, you know, like a normal person … until the next time, when I drag out all my hurt feelings from every single time this particular nerve has ever been struck in me.

But I’m tired of seeing the same themes play out over and over in my life. They play out with different costumes or different players and on different stages. And while it’s easier and more convenient for me to blame the costumes, the players, or the stage, I know that the least common denominator here is me.

As I sat down in the wee hours of 2020 to reflect on the past year, it wan’t just about saying “good riddance” to a tough year but rather about taking a hard look at where I‘ve struggled and what keeps coming up for me.

I asked myself why does this thing keep happening. And the answer was loud and clear — “because, Alison, you’re not doing anything to learn from it and heal so you can manage it differently next time.” Instead, I just keep bumping into the same hurt over and over to the point that it feels like I’m simply programmed to feel hurt.

It’s clear to me that these themes will go on repeating until I learn to stop blaming others for hurting me and instead look at the role I’m playing in this hurt and figure out how I could do better.

Because the reality is that I’m the one who is responsible for the course my life is taking. And as much as that’s a punch to the gut to type here — it’s also incredibly liberating. Because if the issue is me and my habits, patterns, beliefs, and choices, then the solution is within in my control.

So this year, my self-reflection became a manifesto — my public declaration of the things I need to work on. I’m posting it for you all to see in the hopes that you’ll help hold me accountable and perhaps consider for yourself where you need to step up and take personal responsibility for the hurt and struggle that keep showing up in your life. It’s not easy or pleasant, but it’s so very necessary.

So here it is …

My 2020 Manifesto

Do you struggle with these things too? Drop me a comment and let me know how you plan to do better this year.