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Word of the Day is So Passé. Here’s to my Word of the Year.

January 4, 2015

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I’m writing this from my bed. Why am I telling you this? Because if it ends up looking weird, since it’s my first time using the app, I want an excuse.

But also I’m telling you because I want to be clear about something: I am struggling. I am struggling just the same as you are. (Well, not exactly the same I’m sure, but we’re both struggling with something, I’m positive about that).

Here’s mine: I’m struggling with loving myself. I’m having the devil of a time accepting myself for who I am, imperfections and all. I want to change. I want to be better. I want to stop making mistakes and letting people down. But I cannot change anything about myself until I acknowledge where I am, and who I am, and love myself exactly as I am.

I wish I didn’t have to. I wish I could just work hard and make changes and be a better, more beautiful, more caring person, and then I would be able to accept myself.

But that’s not how it works, is it?

So when the new year rolled around I made a resolution. Only it’s not actually a “resolution,” because I break those.

[Resolutions are often our way of placing big huge expectations on ourselves, which we will never live up to if we do not put in the work it takes to get there.]

So this year I resolved to make one central focus around which I would live.

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Yes, that’s the same photo. I don’t know about you, but I need to see it a lot.

Because forgiveness doesn’t always come easily to me. I’ve gotten better at apologies (being in a job where you do that for a living helps), but I’m not very good at receiving forgiveness. Why is that? Because I do not forgive myself. I do not accept less than perfection, and as such I am pretty much a constant disappointment to myself.

And those voices in the back of my head don’t make it any easier. “You didn’t get your house totally cleaned like you said you would. You fail at life.” “You didn’t get this one task done like you promised. Never mind that you’re having internet problems. You’re a terrible person and you don’t deserve to be in leadership.” “Remember that thing you said to that guy last month? That was stupid. You are never going to find love. You’re not good enough for him, and you’re not good enough for anybody.”

These are actual thoughts that have gone through my mind. Today.

But what makes today different is the fact that I stepped back and said “ok, I’m not perfect. That’s ok. I disappointed myself, but I am going to forgive myself. Let’s move on. It won’t be easy, but let’s take it one step at a time.”

Friends, that was the hardest thing I’ve said to myself ever. And it took a battle of will. It’s much easier to agree with the voices. They are sure of themselves. They know me inside and out.

And they are wrong. They’re just so darned persuasive.

Today at church my pastor asked if anyone had made resolutions. Only four of us raised our hands. (I raised mine because even though I don’t really count it as a “resolution,” it is something I resolve to do–something I am resolute about doing.)

Apparently less than half of the U.S. makes resolutions these days (despite what every single advertisement tells you. Mostly I think it’s because we generally break our resolutions).

He then shared with us the idea of taking one word–just one word, to be the focal point of the year. To think about it, and to strive towards it.

We didn’t plan this ahead of time–I promise.

I was so amazed to hear this from someone else, and grateful too–because it confirms my decision–and it means a whole lot of people in my life are now doing the same thing. We each have chosen our own words, but just knowing I’m in this with others is so encouraging.

The best part is that they had set up index cards and markers so we could write down our word. And that (plus some photo effects because I can) is how I came to have this picture. Do you need to see it again?

Probably not.

Here it is anyway.

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So there’s my word of the year. It’s not yours. (Ok, it might be yours, too.) But what matters to me is that I have resolved to forgive myself, to accept that forgiveness, and to move on. As often as I need to.

I won’t do it perfectly.

But at least I will forgive myself when I mess up.

Because it might not even be as bad as I may think. Oh–and apparently this app has a preview option. So I think this post will actually turn out ok. Sometimes it just takes accepting that things may not be perfect, but doing your best anyway, to realize that things actually turned out just fine.

So… What’s your word?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2015 1:06 am

    Haha! This is so crazy! I was looking through my Bible app for some reading plans, wanting something small because, yeah, I never did get through the Bible in a Year, and saw one for 4 day and thought, ‘That I can do.’ It was called One Word. And it was exactly this. So. My word is Steadfast. And it scares the crap out of me. 😄

  2. January 6, 2015 6:07 pm

    Yes, forgive is definitely one of my top words this year. Wishing you the best! 🙂

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