Wednesday, January 4

January

Every January I go through the process of picking out a word to reflect on during the course of that year. It can be a word to challenge me, to reflect on, to help encourage growth spiritually or personally - the options are endless and the word comes to me based on goals, ideas, or dreams that I have for myself for that year. I love the idea of having a word, of it pop into mind over and over again, to remind and to encourage me every day, no matter what is going on. It sometimes serves as a gentle push or reminds me to wait, and it comes to mind constantly, like a soft secret whispered to myself. 

At the start of 2016, my word was Brave. I wanted to remind myself to be brave, to push myself where I haven't before, to give myself the strength to do things that I have always wanted to do, but that I have always put on the back burner. I had lists of things that I was going to accomplish in 2016, some that I announced to the whole world, some that I have kept silent about - but with the new word brave, I was going to remember to not hold back, to not be fearful. I wanted to embrace the year, with whatever it held, with the confidence, the strength, the ability to thrive and adapt when needed. To be brave. 

Now, I am not sure if it was a matter of me not ready to embrace all of the goals I had for the new year, or if that simply was not what God wanted me to focus on, but my word changed in June. The intention I had of being "brave" disappeared over night, and I was left wordless. Not a huge deal, and months passed before I even began to wonder about why my word was no longer what I wanted it to be. Then I started asking questions, internally, of course. Questions about who I am, what I am doing, what my goals are, who I want to become, and how I can grow. Questions about how I can better serve my family, how I can serve my friends, how I can serve my community - how I can become a light again. I have felt the voice in my head grow louder over the last few months of 2016, a steady dialogue of friendly thoughts and questions. I realized that over days and weeks of pondering and wondering, of asking all those questions, trying to figure it all out, I had my word after all. Reflect. 

The idea of reflecting on things, on myself, my family, how we live life, etc - that may seem like a silly notion to follow for half a year. However, the state that I was in last year, emotionally downhearted and spiritually weak, I found that this word "reflect" was one that allowed me the grace and time to ask the questions that needed to be asked, and to figure out how I had gotten to where I was. I am still trying to bounce back from it all, but I found this time of reflection to be a grace period where it was okay to ask all the questions: am I happy, why not, how can I adjust, what do I need to give up, what do I need to start doing. No judgement, no time frame, just me, my thoughts, and God. I was finally being honest with myself. I grieved over disappointment. I laughed heartily at jokes. I reflected on goals, dreams, ideas, my relationship with others and God. I started talking about my plans and discussing family goals. Finally I felt like, bit by bit, I was figuring stuff out again, not just surface craft problems, but issues and disappointments that I had been holding onto for a while. And I was letting it go. 

And now it is January 4th. I have had time to think about what my word is going to be for this year, and I have narrowed it down to two. I just cannot seem to find a word that encompasses all of how I feel. So two it is. For now at least. 

Intentional. Healthy.

These two words seem to be the umbrella that covers a lot of goals and hopes I have for this year. Lesson learned, they may change through-out 2017, but for now, for January 4th, this is how I am feeling. I want to be intentional with time, food, and family, and I want to become healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually - just to name a few. I am sure some days there will be a larger focus on one word or even a goal, I am sure there will be days that I don't even think about this at all. I feel like I am not sure about anything, and yet sure of so much more than I used to be.

This is a sneak peak into my thoughts and heart. I love January for the fact that it does feel like a fresh start. A chance to reevaluate dreams and goals. To grow and learn and to be honest with myself. To let things go and to hold onto what really matters. I hope I always question and reflect on things. To give myself the time and self-care to relearn who I am, to admit when I don't have it figured it out, to cry, and laugh, and shout in anger, to take the time to think about things before making decisions, and to push myself to jump at the chance. To cultivate my relationships and to remember that I do need time alone. To be light-hearted. To have adventures and to seek the comfort of my own home. To dream big, and to dream small, to not care, and to care about it all - now I feel the poetry come out. I want this and so much more, and I want the voice inside my head to remain. Always questioning and wondering and reflecting and dreaming and loving and being. The end. 

Here are some quotes that I have loved these past few days : 
“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” – T.S. Eliot

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