My word of the year for 2020

About a month ago, I firmly grasped onto the idea of having a word of the year. Inspired by posts by Jessica Rose Williams and Jen Carrington sharing their process for selecting a word, I went about finding my own. For a couple of weeks, I danced with the idea of “acceptance” as my word of the year for 2020. I even posted about it here. But the longer I spent with the word, the more I realized it wasn’t quite right. It felt a little flat for me. I wanted more than just acceptance. And then another word came to me, bubbling to the surface of my imagination: embrace. 

To me, embrace felt like a breath of fresh air. It felt like acceptance with wings. And as I began to allow the essence of this word in, and consider what it might mean, I immediately felt soothed as though the word itself had settled around me in a warm embrace, embodying its very nature. I kept noticing the word in books I was reading and articles I browsed. It jumped off of the page, very much alive. Embrace. 

Here’s what embrace means to me as I enter the new year holding this word close to my heart: 

I want to embrace the beauty present in every moment. This means bringing more presence into my life. Beyond just accepting whatever is, I want to embrace it with my full being, taking in the intricacies of small moments by giving all of my attention to them. 

I want to embrace pain and look beyond my immediate response to see what it has to teach me instead. I struggle with certain moments: old wounds triggered, fears of rejection, and patterned reactions that are no longer helpful to me. In moments of pain, like these, I hope to move toward embracing them for what they are and making the best of them. How can I take that moment of pain and find a lesson in it? How can I find a small ounce of progress, even though it feels like a backslide? How can I embrace the moment and learn from it, grow from it somehow? 

I want to embrace myself. For me, this means accepting and loving all of me for who I am. It means stepping into my own power and authenticity. It means listening to my needs and desires and acting on those, caring for and nourishing myself accordingly. It means nurturing my hopes and dreams. It means growing to accept and love my body, my emotions, my mind, my spirit. 

I want to embrace my partner. He is such a wonderful, kind, patient, strong, wise, determined, playful, and loving man. I am so grateful for the lessons I learn from him each and every day and for all he has taught me about giving and receiving love. I want to show up with a deeper love in my relationship by embracing even more of who my partner is, what he needs and desires, without letting jealousy or my old fears get in the way.   

I want to embrace my life exactly as it is right now. I have spent so much energy worrying and focusing on the future this past year. While I still hold those dreams close to my heart, and am actively working toward fulfilling them, I want to let go of being so caught up in the future that I lose sight of the presence. Instead, I want to embrace all that I have now – the beauty that I am already living each and every day. I have so much to be grateful for and so much to celebrate in my life right now. I want to embrace all of it. It is not perfect, it is not exactly what I long for. But it is enough. I am whole. And I am happy. And I want to embrace all that is. 

I’ll be dancing with this word all year, and I’ll be sure to share some of that journey here as it unfolds. But for now, I am settling into the warm embrace of my word.