2017 – The year for Self-Love

I don’t like typical resolutions, like “lose weight”, “take more vitamins”, “get out more”, etc.

I like striving for a word, or a concept throughout the year, for improvement, for experience, and for inspiration.

Last year I took strides towards complete honesty; with myself, with God, and with others. I’ve made a lot of progress since January of 2016, and I’m proud of that accomplishment.

I’ve gotten to be more honest with myself about how I really perceive experiences and situations, and how I truly feel in any circumstance. My eyes have been opened to how I can be totally honest with God and others about my feelings and opinions.

Throughout the year, I have allowed myself to face many fears, and to say exactly what was on my mind in a crucial moment, many times. It’s liberating to be that honest. To be that real with myself. To be that real with others. And most importantly to be open with God.

This new year, my goal is to pursue Self-Love. I want to be kinder to myself. I want to let myself be okay with not being okay. I want to allow myself the time that I need to do what is best for me. Through this process of caring for myself, I hope to be able to love others much better than I do now. I want my love for myself to change how I view the world, and how I treat others in my mind. I want to maintain self-respect, and try more positive self-talk. I want to be more gentle by the end of the year. To myself, and to others.

I’m also allowing myself the opportunity to be okay with where I am if I soon discover that I may not need to change things as much as I feel I should right now. I’m curious to see where this year takes me. I’m excited to see what God will do with these ideas bouncing in my head.

And I want to challenge you to think creatively about this year, too. What do you need to explore? What do you want to change, if anything? If not, what do you want to maintain? Don’t just think about a list of “New Year’s Resolutions.” Those can be helpful, but I’m challenging you to simplify it to one or two characteristics. Personality traits, or life-lessons to work towards.

For me, I feel that this mentality allows me to focus in on some really important ideas and personal goals, and it’s so much easier for me to stick with a simple idea throughout the year than it is to follow a list I’ll only forget about in a month. It quickly becomes a habit if you carry it in the back of your mind every day, and you start living by it even without realizing.

That’s what happened with me last year. Through January and into February, the concept of true honesty quickly became something ingrained in me. Pretty soon, I didn’t even have to remind myself of a new year’s resolution that I had made. It sort of naturally began to be part of what I tried to do, on a daily basis.

Actually, by the end of the year I had actually forgotten that I chose to pursue honesty specifically, but it was a big part of the events which closed the year for me anyway. It wasn’t until this past weekend when I was thinking about my goal for this year that I actually remembered that honesty had been my goal for 2016.

   Now that I’m more honest about life, I decided that I want to learn how to be kinder to myself in the midst of that honesty.

So, here’s for a new goal!

Here’s for 2017!

~Be Inspired. Be You.~

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Decisions, Decisions – http://agirlikeme.com/?p=2566

We just talked about this in a meeting today. So many things in my life are pointing to this whole idea about God’s will and our decisions. 

I’m currently facing a few different decisons and I’ve been puzzling over them for a long time, but especially lately. 

This article sums up exactly what I’ve been realizing this week.

I think God sometimes gets to a point with us where he wants us to pick one of the two or more things he has set in front of us. It’s not always very easy to decide, but I think He wants us to realize that doors really will open for us as long as we strive after Him in whatever we do. 

So keep striving, and thrive. 🙂

I was called to something today…

God is quite the motivator.

There I was. Just sitting in church watching 33 people be baptized, cheering them on and listening to their stories, interested in what was happening, but not totally thrilled about it or convinced of what baptism means for me or anything.

My sister kept looking at me down the row throughout the service and I didn’t really get why at first, but once the baptisms were underway I began to have a nagging feeling that I should think more deeply about where I’ve been with Christ recently.
So I did.
I was convicted. I’ve been feeling anxious, depressed, confused, disgusting, unworthy, overly emotional, and over-invested in everything but God. I’ve been more interested in other people’s problems, in the world’s ordeals, and in musicians and artists than my Lord and Savior. That’s messed up.
I knew I needed to change something, but I didn’t want to admit that I’ve been falling further and further away from my once close relationship with God because of distractions that briefly amused me. I’ve been unfaithful to some extent and I’m glad I’m snapping out of it now rather than later, because I could tell that it was going to keep getting worse and worse if I had just remained there.
I’ve struggled with relinquishing control and letting God take over for a long time, but I keep going through spots where I convince myself that I’ve done it and I’m fine and I trust Him completely, but nothing ever really felt quite right about it for some reason, and I never wanted to be honest about my flaws with my relationship with God. So against ny resolutions at the beginning year, I’ve been lying about the most important thing anyway… my trust in God. Don’t get me wrong, I know and I believe that He is capable and that He loves me dearly, but I never truly let go of anything. It’s hard for me to let Him take charge over everything because I have this stupid desire to try to be enough on my own.

So as I was sitting in that pew this morning, I felt more and more convicted and I couldn’t fight it off with “reason.” After the last baptism, the pastor did something a bit insane, which..  to be frank, he does fairly often. He began asking extra people to make that decision. He wanted to give others the same chance because he felt like there were a few still in the congregation who needed to take that step.
The count off began as people started walking up, grinning and waving arms high.

1…2…3…4!

My heart was racing. I was trying to regulate my breathing. Something was pushing me. It felt like the pastor was urging only me.

I looked at my sister and the rest of my family. She had this knowing look spread across her face as I uncrossed my legs and looked at the stage again..

..5…there’s 6!! There’s 7!!….

I almost didn’t stand up. One more person might need this more than I do…

No… maybe he’s talking to me afterall…

I stood up and began walking.

“…I still feel like we can do a few more…. 40 seems like a great number I think!…”

I was almost to the stage when he made eye contact with me, beamed, and excitedly counted me off as the 40th to go up.

The clothes I got from them were massive and I had the synch the shorts up as tight as they could possibly go to sort of fit me at all. But I defeated the sizing issues and headed out on stage to get baptized. They asked me to explain why I was doing it today and I talked about how it was kind of an impulse thing. I said that as he was talking, my heart was pounding and I didn’t really get why. I told them how I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety issues and stress and I felt like I needed to change something. I said that I wanted to rededicate myself today. They encouraged me, prayed with me about anxiety issues, and baptized me in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit. I had been crying before I went under, but I came out smiling and soaking wet. It was worth it.

The story I didn’t hear until later was that as they were getting ready for this service, they bought extra outfits for anyone who wasn’t prepared. He asked his wife how many they needed and she said to buy 8. So they ended up buying exactly what they needed for baptizing a total of, I believe, 42
people, in a single service.

I never understood what baptism was about. I never really cared, either. But today’s step was a change that I needed to make in my life. I’ve noticed that I feel more refreshed already, and I feel a bit more like myself in my mood again. God showed me what he was doing in those 33 people’s lives, and he showed me that he can do the same for me. He showed me that I was ready to take a step towards him and away from everything else that has been distracting me from His love.

So here’s to the next milestone! 🙂

This year…

This Year by JJ Heller.

They released this video last New Year’s Day (2015) and I’m so glad they did. It fits every new start.

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This year my goal is honesty.

Lately, I’ve been trying to be more honest with myself, as well as those around me. I’ve taken a few big steps in that area, and I intend to take many more. After all, honesty is the best policy!

After I had learned about that phrase as a child, I reminded myself of it absently, but I tried to follow it over the years, but the past few months I’ve been feeling the pressure of needing to be truthful weigh on how I treat myself. I realized not very long ago that I have a tendency to push my own issues aside while I try to handle other people’s issues first, even though I know I can’t and shouldn’t, especially when I have enough pulling at my heart. But here’s the thing. I don’t want to acknowledge my own issues. I’d rather  help other people handle their’s and shove mine into a corner until “I have more time” to deal with it. I don’t want to deal with the pain of past hurts and unresolved issues because I have this idea that it shouldn’t matter to me anymore, so I should simply forget about it and “move on.” 

I realize now that my version of “moving on” just makes the issue harder to deal with later, because instead of facing it, I throw a hand up and ignore it for months, or even years at a time. That’s real healthy, I know.

So I’ve got a lot to learn. I mean, we all do, don’t we? But thanks to my wonderful family, friends, and mentors, I’ve been making small improvements, and I’ve taken many difficult baby-steps to try to get better at this thing called truth.

We’re all a work in progress. I’m realizing as I type this that maybe I’ll never quite be where I think I should be, or where I would like to be in life. Maybe I’ll always be idealizing the next space on which I want to land on the board, but God wants me to hang back for two turns, or quite possibly, jump ahead to a better space.

And to keep to my goal, to be honest with myself, I believe it’s time I try to learn to be joyful right where I am in life, simply because God got me here. Maybe it’s one of those times in which I should linger in the moment and simply soak it in. Because, let’s be real… with God, it’s a pretty great spot, even amid chaos. 

So my New Year’s Resolutions are as follows:

Be honest with myself and with God,

and learn to be joyful where I am. 

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I invite you to reflect on the past year.

I invite you to dream of what this year could hold.

I invite you to learn to love yourself, and love your life tenderly.

I invite you to find what makes your heart sing. 

I invite you along on this journey called life.

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Happy New Year! Let’s make it a beautiful one!

 

 

Her love is different.

I am choosing to be transparent. I’m choosing to be honest with myself. I’m trying my hand at bluntness. If you will, stand by me as I try to be real with you about some things.

Here goes…

How easy is it to say the words?
How simple would it be just to say how I felt, how I feel?
I remember the first time I said, heartbroken and crying, how much I “liked” him, but I never said just how deep it went.

Honestly, I had thought it several times before that awful day started.
Something in me never wanted to admit how I had felt for months.

Maybe I knew somehow that it wasn’t right, and I didn’t want to fall in love with the wrong guy as my first.

That very same thing kept me from admitting it to anyone, especially myself, until well over a year later. Others seemed to know before I ever did.

The thought of saying the words out loud literally tore at my heart. It would mean it was real. It would mean I had to come at it head on. It would mean that I was a liar.
I admitted it out loud a few times in recent months, finally, but it hasn’t been as conclusive as I need it to be yet. I don’t know that it will be even now. I’m not sure it ever will be. But nonetheless, I need to face it.

So here I’ll say it again; I loved him. I really did. It hurt to love him that much. Maybe that’s why it hurt so much more than I expected any heartbreak could. It tore me up, to be lead on, and then dropped cold by a boy who has now, thankfully, become a man.

The love I had for him back then has shifted and become a different kind of love for him now.

I’m glad he’s changed. We both have, and I thank God for that. I’m glad he’s happy and working things out in his life and in his relationships.

I hope he finds the woman, the love, that I could have never been for him. I hope he finds where his heart sings. I wish him the best in life. The boy that broke my heart that day has become a good man who deserves the best love out there.

The girl that loved that boy has changed in drastic ways, too. She has grown so much in that time. She has become more of the woman she never even expected that she would want to be.

While I am afraid of falling in love again for a time, I know I have come such a long way since that dreary spring day when everything shattered around me and the skies cried with me. Even going back to the day in the previous fall, when I realized I was falling for him, I’ve changed so much since then.

Thinking back on it now, it all seemed to start and end in the same place. That little burger place that was so loved by all. It was where I first admitted to myself and my best friend that I was falling for that boy. It was where I went after being dropped cold and it was where I burst into tears as I attempted to smile at my friends upon approaching them.

Even now, that broken girl has become brave enough to try new things.

(Rather poetic, is it not?) The location where it all happened, its walls acting as a separation from the past’s pain and sadness, providing a division between now and the past, and pointing to now and the future.
(Poetic, metaphorical, ‘nonsensical’ schpeal over.)

Who knows what will come of this?

Maybe I’ll have the right words next time around. Maybe I’ll be brave enough to let my mouth form the words my heart has to say. Maybe it won’t be all that I fear. Maybe it will be.

But I already know, it will be different. It will be, because I’ve already made changes.

It will be, because I’m different.

Sometimes I find…

Every now and then, I find myself in the midst of doubts and stress again. To the point at which I can’t get much of anything done the right way because I’m too preoccupied with my thoughts.

I just left dinner with two of my friends about fourty minutes ago, and I wasn’t the most pleasant company, and somehow I felt completely alone the whole time.

Sometimes I find that crying is the only way to handle life so it won’t crash down all at once, but instead, one salty tear at a time.

Sometimes they fall quickly, sometimes way too slowly, but they fall nonetheless and life is once more manageable.

For a time at least.

So I lingered…

Here I sit in my townhouse at college, sipping a mango Snapple and wishing I had my typewriter at hand…

My thoughts wander to other things as I end a phone call with my Mom.

There are some moments I simply like to observe. No interjections, No direct involvement, just simply being there and watching, or listening, as the case may be.

A few minutes ago, when I was finishing up talking to my mom on the phone, my niece was in the room with her and they started talking. My mom said she was going to read a story to her and then go back to cleaning the kitchen, but after we said our ‘goodbyes’ and ‘I love yous’, I simply lingered on the call and listened to her and my niece talk for a few fleeting moments.

There was something really special about it. It wasn’t even anything they said. It was just hearing their voices carry over the phone’s speakers.

It felt comfortable.

It felt peaceful.

It felt safe.

It felt like home.

 

Other moments, among friends…

I often find myself simply observing them during our conversations, movie nights, game nights, dance parties, walks, and lazy days, and my heart begins to overflow with love for every one of them, again and again.

It feels beautiful.

It feels happy.

It feels inspirational.

It (also) feels like home.

 

I find my home where my loved ones remain.

They are one in the same to me.

Love and Home.

 

So I linger.

After the conversations.

After the ‘parties’.

After the deep talks late at night.

After the phone calls.

 

I linger in the lulls,

in the quiet,

and in the noise of friends and family.

 

I wanted more.

I loved more.

I felt more.

So I lingered.