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The Year I Burnt It to The Ground

This is likely the most personal thing I’ve shared in all my years talking to you. And maybe I’m nuts, I’m sure I am, but this is on my heart and I think someone might benefit from it. 

My husband jokingly refers to 2022 as “the year Meg burnt it to the ground.”

I like to think of it as the year I let go, but, he’s right. I set things on fire this year to reset and reclaim my life.  

So, as you start to think about the New Year, if you’re feeling a pull to make a radical change, let this note be the thing that moves you forward.

Consider this your sign.

Because this time last year, I was in a spiral, and today I can say with all sincerity that I have never been happier or more at peace.

And, listen, I’m no expert.

I’m just a 43-year-old woman who woke up one day 12 months ago sick of everyone’s shit, including her own.

Related: The 12 Amazon Wellness Products that Made My Year Better

Only a few people know that for the last two years my life was filled with tremendous personal turmoil.

I’m fine, and my husband and children are wonderful, happy, healthy, thank God. 

But I spent 2021 utterly heartbroken.

I realized I couldn’t live in grief and bottled up anger anymore when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror on Christmas morning.

Was this the mom my girls were waking up to? 

I guess I thought I was hiding the pain better, but there it was, all over my face and I was done. 

So I committed to healing myself from the inside out as we started the new year.

Let me tell you; it’s everything they say it is: messy, at times lonely, and very humbling. But it’s also the best thing I ever did for myself.

I quickly learned that living in dysfunction is a lot easier than living in the process of removing yourself from it. Only when you’re out of the crazy, do you understand just how crazy it was.

But I would do it all over again for what I gained, how I’ve grown, and how my life has improved.

When I say I did everything I could to feel better, I mean it.

I didn’t know where to start, so I began working out regularly and eating well. This was the easiest step, which wasn’t easy at all. 

I also limited drinking, started meditating, tried hot yoga, turned off the news, and listened to inspiring podcasts instead, where I tried to learn as much as I could about trauma healing and inner child work. 

Then, I created a healthy morning and evening routine. I wrote in a gratitude journal, took all the vitamins and drank all the green juice. 

And because I take everything to the extreme, I bought crystals; I saged my house, found a spiritual healer, and started to have regular fire-cupping sessions.

Yes, you read the right. I told you, I did everything. I threw the kitchen sink at it. 

The hard part, the spiritual healing part, changing my inner dialog, learning painful lessons, and forgiving myself in the process is a challenge.  I’m still working on this, but I’m eons from where I started.

I didn’t do it all at once; instead, it was like serendipitous baby steps that took the full year.

A walk turned into a run.
A friend mentioned a friend that had had cupping done.
A yoga studio opened up down the street and I gave it a try.

It wasn’t overwhelming; quite the opposite.

It was invigorating!

I just decided to say yes to whatever came my way. I can do anything once, I thought.

Every time I saw my strength improve, or woke up clear-minded, felt like a tiny victory. I would literally hear myself say, look at you! 

And that kept me willing and open to trying and adding more.

Don’t get me wrong; there were plenty of messy days. I cried a lot.  I second-guessed myself. 

Working out in your 40s is NOT the same as in your 30s. You’re constantly sore and tired, you have to wake up at an unholy hour and it stinks. 

Healing your soul is a whole other thing that takes a different toll. You need rest. You have to go to bed early or take a nap. You just need to be gentle with yourself. 

And this all led to evaluating my relationships and intentionally pulling away from people who I probably should have walked away from years ago. I was as ruthless as I am with a pair of capris in your closet. Toss, toss, toss. 

But by burning it all down, new sprigs of life started to pop up.

I finally had the strength to not only close the chapter on numerous unhealthy relationships but to also start to release the anger. Again, not totally there, but working on it.

And as I did, peace covered my home like a warm blanket, and all the drama disappeared.

Old and new friendships emerged as if by magic, and all my relationships, for the first time in my life, feel safe.

And what is incredible is that all the internal remodeling left space for me.

For me to hear my own voice and let it guide my thoughts and decisions.

For me to understand the difference between my anxiety and my intuition.

For me to consciously choose to be the woman, the mother, the wife, the daughter, and the friend I know I’m supposed to be.

For me to build my business with integrity and make choices in alignment with my mission.

I regularly hear from women in our community who are also going through significant struggles. That might seem odd coming from a site about clothes and makeup. But our seemingly frivolous topics can be a catalyst for bigger conversations around being a woman in this season of life.

Maybe today’s message inspires you simply to going for a walk with your neighbor and get some fresh air, or call your doctor to get your hormones checked.

Maybe you start a gratitude journal or take that multivitamin in your pantry.

Maybe I’m oversharing.

I don’t know.

But I’ll tell you this: my life and my family’s life changed dramatically for the better when I said enough to the b.s. surrounding me. I learned to take accountability for my choices, unapologetically prioritize my physical and mental health, learned to protect my peace and let go of all the people, thoughts and things that were holding me back. 

And if this resonates with you, I hope that what I experienced prompts you to start now so your 2023 can be just as transformative. 

It’s only 12 months, imagine what you can do with it. 

Related: The 12 Amazon Wellness Products that Made My Year Better

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Heather Taylor

Friday 16th of December 2022

Love this! I've been on a personal revamp for over a year and this really resonated with me. 2022 was a year of a lot of change and 2023 looks like it could be even better! It's by sharing our stories that we help other women be brave enough to take the first step on their own journeys of healing. xo

Terri

Friday 16th of December 2022

Thank you for sharing this!

Randi

Friday 16th of December 2022

Amen Megan. Congratulations on your personal transformation. It had to be the hardest thing anyone could ever do. You can now look forward to 2023 with clarity. I couldn’t be happier for you. You are inspiring me to “forgive myself “ for things I can’t change. Hindsight is 2020.

Have the most wonderful holiday with your family.

Tracy

Friday 16th of December 2022

Brave Brave Brave!❤️ I think your story will resonate with many ladies! Thank You for sharing it! We reach an age of wisdom and change and letting go of what other people think is one key component to living a sacred life! Our time is valuable and who we spend it with should encourage and uplift us!

Ann

Friday 16th of December 2022

Thank you for being so transparent. Very inspiring and I am happy for you! Cheering for you lovely lady!

gina

Friday 16th of December 2022

spectacular and kudos to you!! wishing you ongoing love and light for yourself and your loved ones, its a journey! really appreciate you sharing this!

Cheryl

Friday 16th of December 2022

Thank you so much for sharing your journey. It resonated with me on so many levels. You have inspired me to begin the process now. You are an incredible person and I feel grateful to have found you!

Donna

Friday 16th of December 2022

Love it! Thank you and I believe you have just helped a number of people.

Sherry

Friday 16th of December 2022

Thank you for sharing your heart.

Karen Metzger

Friday 16th of December 2022

Megan—thank you for so vulnerably sharing your heart. My year has seemed somewhat similar—health-related changes (eating, vitamins, exercise) that led to losing 25 pounds, but more importantly to feeling better; starting counseling to help heal trauma and deal with dysfunction I’ve dealt with my whole life; etc. One of the benefits—and I’m guessing this is true for you as well—is that my kids are seeing me do the work to be the best me I can be for all of us. I’m sending you lots of love and big hugs! Well done—keep it up!! Thanks for who you are and for what you’ve created here for us. ❤️

Natalie

Friday 16th of December 2022

👏🏻 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 This is amazing and exactly what your community needs to hear. Cheering you on as you grow into this work!

Rebecca

Friday 16th of December 2022

Thank you for being brave and sharing this. I know it will help many others. Wishing you ongoing healing and peace. ❤️

Karen

Friday 16th of December 2022

Thank you for sharing your story. And for being brave enough to do something about it and share it with others.

My low point came in the fall of 2019. I was stressed all the time and not sleeping well. It took me 2 years to come out on the other side. I still have stress, we all do. Now I know what do about it! Very empowering! Thankfully my stage 1 breast cancer diagnosis came at the end of my 2 year healing journey. I had learned skills to deal with it. I am so grateful to those who helped me along the way.

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