Our family has a tradition of sending a card and letter to family and friends at Christmas time. I find this tradition lends itself naturally to reflection on the year that was, while also anticipating the year ahead. It seems silly to write this, but this year for perhaps the first time, I am becoming clear about my personal needs and wants. I’ve been so good at going with the flow, moving around or with people, I have rarely stood my ground. This flexibility has made me likeable, but it has also caused me on occasion to bend to the point of breaking.
So this year year I will try to hold my ground, speak up, and step out. It feels empowering to write that, like I mean it and like I will actually do it. When I say “this year I will try”, it gives me room to flounder and make mistakes, which I need in this new territory, for I will do myself no favors if I think I will get it right the first time. For better or worse, I learn by trial and error, and if I give myself permission to try, that means I allow myself to make mistakes and learn from them as I figure it out.
So to clarify what I want, when I say hold my ground, I do not want to allow myself to be swayed by Facebook, by our culture, by church culture, by my inner critic, or by any messages which causes me to doubt or question myself in a way that takes my focus off target. What does that mean? I do not want to allow myself to be led astray. I want to hold firm to myself, and what I know to be true, while allowing myself room to sift all messages, to hold onto those which bless and encourage, and let go of those that harm, while remaining steady in the ground which is mine to hold. I only want to allow into this sacred space those whom I deem worthy, and I give myself permission to ask someone to leave if I am no longer comfortable with them there.
When I say I want to speak up, I want to speak boldly what I believe to be true, valuable, meaningful, lovely, and worthy of praise. How? Through this blog, in my family, friendships, life coaching sessions, and whatever other venues I find myself in. If I find my views are unappreciated, unheard, unacknowledged, or disrespected, I will take proper action to make right any wrongs, while remaining steady in who I am and what I have to say. Because I choose to honor myself, I will not spend time speaking to those who are not ready or willing to hear what I have to say. That may sound harsh, but I value mysef and my time, and I want to spend it wisely.
In wanting to step out, I want to continue to leap from my stable and comforting places into new territory, with the intention of exploration, discovery, and building allies in friendship, honoring me, and creating boundaries to protect what is important to me. What exactly is important to me? My health, following Christ’s lead in my life, spending quality time with my family, relationships which bless, encourage, cheer on, and cheer up, and spurring people onto the lives they long to live.
As I have expressed my desires for 2018, I’m curious…
- If you could summarize the past year in an image, a feeling or two, a few adjectives or sentances, what would it be?
- What are 2-3 things you would like in the year ahead? What would those things give you?
- What are you willing to give up in order to get what you want?
- Now write them down, and tell someone.
This is a new year, and you get to choose how you’re going to step into it. If you’re not sure where to begin, live authentically, love well, and get out there and conquer something!
Photo Credit: NordWood Themes