I didn’t fight you, I played witness to you

Stacy LambatosDear 20202 Comments

I didn’t fight you, I played witness to you

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Dear 2020,

I didn’t fight you, I played witness to you. I opened my heart to everything you showed me – to the pain, suffering, joys and new ways of thinking, doing and living. I listened harder to you, to myself and to others, with more intention than I ever have. Because of you, I’m walking away with three incredible gifts – the art of surrendering, listening and loving another.

It’s funny how we started. I did a psilocybin journey in New York the first weekend of March. Pretty much the last weekend it was safe to fly (safe being a relative term). The journey was beautiful, but hard…and in many ways, telling of what you had planned for the rest of your days. In my journey, I was alone and really scared, I asked for help, yet no one or nothing came. I wanted it to end and I wanted control of my mind back, yet it was impossible in this moment. But here came my lesson: surrender.

When I stopped fighting to gain back control, I began to relax and enjoy the experience from my heart. I stopped wishing for something that I didn’t have or feel and simply surrendered to what was – I was surrounded by beautiful music, the smell of palo santo, incredible scenery, and six other brave and powerful women.

When I think of you and my experience of you – I easily recall this lesson that I felt with every cell of my being that weekend in March – SURRENDER. Similar to the psilocybin journey that I couldn’t stop when I wanted it to, you didn’t stop either or let me off the ride – you left me no choice but to surrender to you.

For me, surrender doesn’t mean throwing my arms up and doing nothing. It means easing into what is and assessing what I can do with it. I can’t surrender with my mind and everything I know to be true in my life. Surrendering takes an open heart, it takes courage to explore the unknown, to let go of control and invite in something far beyond what my mind can deliver.

So back to you and your wild adventure. Surrendering to you and the challenges, the roller coaster of emotions and the feelings I’ve had, has made my experience with you a little lighter. I’ve caught myself wanting things to be different and instead shifted to become aware of what is present, who I am, the gifts I embody, the challenges I face and my response to it all.

You’ve taken away a lot of what I’ve used to distract myself (live music, hot yoga classes, meals with friends, travel, etc). In turn, you’ve given me more opportunities to surrender and more days to live from my heart vs my head.

The second gift you’ve given me is a desire to listen a little deeper. You’ve empowered humans to speak and act in the most beautiful and heartbreaking ways. I see the pain on both sides, the hatred and violence and the unity and love. My take on it is that everyone is seeking to be loved, to be seen and to be heard. And when we’re not, and we don’t have the tools to ask for help, we turn to violence…but inside each violent and hateful act is one of us, desperately trying to be acknowledged.

I’ve tried to see and hear it all, not just my side and my views. I’ve listened to understand and asked questions without my defenses up. The divisiveness within our country and our inability to see each other is what has broken my heart the most this year. Through this pain, you’ve fueled my passion to create spaces and experiences where individuals feel seen and heard by others, but most importantly by themselves.

Lastly, you’ve taught me a lot about relationships and what it means to love another. You’ve given me unique opportunities to foster the most beautiful intimate relationship I’ve ever had. You’ve helped me better understand my friendships and empowered me to set boundaries, speak up and let go of expectations. I’ve gotten braver to come as I am to every relationship I have and have become less selfish in order to learn more about others in my life.

Marina has taught me that it’s only through our own suffering that we can relate to the suffering of others. I’ve thought a lot about this in each of my relationships this year, with my partner, my family and friends.

For me, loving another is a commitment to understanding each other, not through my eyes, but through their eyes. It’s growing with each other and allowing the other to be who they are, not who I want them to be. It’s the continuation of small things, not the big flashy things. It’s communication and speaking from my heart. It’s bravery to fully show up and not hide parts of myself.

Specifically, this year, it’s a two-hour bike ride in Wash Park with Chris to talk about our differences and how to embrace them, it’s finding new ways to show my mom I love her and I care about her, it’s dropping everything for a chance to facetime with Adelynn and Ajay, it’s learning the dance of partnership and new business adventures with Marina and it’s learning to love friends from a distance and invite more acceptance in when I don’t feel connected to them.

2020, you’ve held up a magnifying glass to my relationships. What has come from it, is a deeper appreciation for those in my life and the courage to express myself, fully and openly.

My hope is that your gifts live within me for the rest of my life – surrendering, listening and loving another.

Stacy Lambatos

PS – puzzles, road trips, hikes, walks, rides, runs, bread, cooking, baking, sweatpants and more puzzles

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