Every year on December 31st, millions of people all around the world anxiously await the stroke of midnight, welcoming the arrival of a new year. The celebration begins; loud cheers, laughter and screams fill the air, hugs and kisses are exchanged and sentiments of prosperity and happiness are offered. The turn of a year brings about a new energy, the opportunity to press “Start” again. The previous year had its share of ups and downs, and people look forward to a fresh beginning.
This is also the time when we hear about all of the wonderful “New Year Resolutions” list- plans that include making more money, losing weight, eating better, having healthier relationships, enhancing our spiritual walk, advanced career goals and more. Gyms are packed, churches are full and the excitement is contagious!
But then something happens… after the novelty has worn off and a few weeks (for some, even days) have passed, that momentum can sometimes slow down. Old patterns/mindsets resurface, or we may experience disappointment because things aren’t happening as quickly as we anticipated they would. That call for the interview of your dream job hasn’t come through yet. You aren’t able to clear debt as quickly as you had planned because some unexpected expenses have popped up. You left that toxic person alone, but now you experience severe loneliness/sadness. You have been eating better and trying to exercise more, but the weight isn’t melting off like you want it to. You want to finish that task, but you keep getting distracted/don’t have the energy or resource to complete it. You’ve been talking to God and studying more, but the silence seems louder than ever…
Wherever you are on the spectrum, I commend you on your great intentions, and I encourage you to continue striving! I also challenge you to add one more goal to your list… LOVE MORE!
We always have great expectations when it comes to ourselves, others, and our circumstances. Sometimes our expectations cause us to put more faith in the outcome, and when the outcome doesn’t arrive in a time we deem as “reasonable” this can tamper with our confidence and our mindset. We may feel depressed/sad, frustrated, anxious, overwhelmed, confused, weary and a number of other emotions. The perfect remedy when you are experiencing any of these is to take some time and love yourself a bit more.
- Loving yourself means that you are patient with yourself, and your journey. You are less anxious, and you strive to find peace in the midst of waiting for the outcome you KNOW you will obtain as a result of your dedication.
- Loving yourself means that you exhibit a level of kindness that gives you the space to make mistakes, and are graceful in your response to the mistakes.
- Loving yourself means that you are not constantly watching other peoples’ lives and comparing them to your own; you do not envy their journey, as you KNOW that your life is unique and has its own fill of joys, blessings and happiness.
- Loving yourself means that you are humble and recognize that you are already blessed, and all that you have could be taken away from you; you are wise in knowing that being proud/boastful comes right before a fall.
- Loving yourself means that you strive not to dishonor yourself or others, and that you are selfless (note: selflessness does not indicate that you are easily taken advantage of or that you neglect yourself; it simply means that you are considerate/mindful).
- Loving yourself means that you do not have a short temper, and that you exhibit patience instead of becoming easily triggered and frustrated with yourself or others (anger is a parasite that festers and will eventually destroy you and those around you if not identified and dealt with).
- Loving yourself means that you do not hold grudges; you are forgiving of the past and you look forward with hope and anticipation for new experiences. Loving yourself means that you are not spiteful/dishonest, and you are accepting of the truth, however that may look.
- Loving yourself means that you guard and protect that which is a part of you; you are trusting and hopeful because you recognize that God will always have His hands on you. You will continue to press forward, never giving up despite how difficult this part of the journey may appear to be.
- As a result of loving yourself, you will NEVER FAIL.
The reason I am talking about love is because the more you are able to show yourself love, the more peace and endurance you will have when navigating your list of goals. By loving yourself, you are also more likely to effectively show love to others. This all makes sense once you are able to recognize God’s love (all of the points listed above); if you take the time to reflect on your life, you will be reminded of how His love has covered you, and how this provision will be with you as you continue throughout this lifetime.
A life filled with love is a life worth living. Take the time to love more. You will notice that by adding this at the top of your “New Year Resolutions” list, the other goals become easier, more attainable and the journey is more fulfilling. You will begin to feel better, and the good energy you put out will be returned to you!
Pace yourself, love yourself, and I look forward to hearing of the amazing things that will come to pass as you continue forward on your journey!
*Here’s a tune reminding you to enjoy the little things in life along the way…Enjoy!*
Written by: Ashley Staples, MSW