Life’s current reality can be incredibly burdensome, making it challenging to get past that long enough to believe in fresh starts. Have you ever wished you could rewrite the script? There have been times when (with the luxury of days passed) I’ve thought, “I wish I would have done things differently.” Perhaps I would have said “the right thing” or said nothing. Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten so hurt or remembered to walk through life with joy and grace. But in those moments—in my humanness—I simply reacted, and I’ve not always been easy on myself about it. We should be our own best allies, but, often, we’re our own worst enemies. Be gentle with, and forgive yourself.
Show yourself the kindness you usually reserve for others.
When the New Year was ushered in, you may have made resolutions to change something, like find a new career, eat “cleaner,” or get organized. Maybe, you decided to stop something like overspending, procrastinating, or getting stressed out. Ideally, a new year brings a sense of starting fresh. But each day is an opportunity to begin anew, although, if you overslept, are heading to a depressing job (even if it’s at home), or there’s not enough food on your table, it’s tough to think, “wow, I get to create my reality today!” And, if you’re working amidst COVID-19 or grieving the loss of a loved one, it’s even more difficult.
Be gentle with yourself.
The expression “God helps those who help themselves” was penned by Algernon Sydney in 1698, but its essence dates back to Aesop’s Fables. I’d heard that expression for decades but never really thought about it until a friend reframed it as “God helps those who ask for help.” That makes sense to me! Many children hear (verbally or through loud and clear unspoken messages) “you’re either a winner or loser.” You may have grown up thinking that you had to be a strong, independent, self-sufficient achiever, even if the outcome didn’t resonate with your truth. Being vulnerable enough to ask for help is a challenge for most of us.
Allow yourself to accept love and support.
I often hear, “I keep hoping (praying, wishing) for X to happen.” But, what if X (whatever that is) simply isn’t in the cards? Do you ever fall into false hope (a self-protection default), refusing to realistically see harsh truths, or situations as they truly are? Honest hope won’t necessarily vanquish challenges or sorrows, but it allows you to be fully engaged in life from a different perspective. Choose how you want to live in the days sandwiched between the euphoria you long for and the times you’re simply plodding through. Each decision matters. Even if you can’t change the world, you have to power to impact your life positively. Legitimate hope enables you to sink into realistic optimism, anticipate the good, and have a fundamental belief in possible outcomes, and you’re worth that.
May this year be filled with peace.