Earlier this week one of my students asked me if I make New Year's Resolutions. I can't believe we are that close to the end of the year, but really we are. In just a few weeks we will kiss 2014 goodbye and 2015 with a slew of good intentions.
In the past I have made the usual type of resolutions- lose weight, save money, get more organized. I always fall short of my goal- about eleven months short and so for a couple of years I didn't bother with making myself promises I knew I would never keep. For 2014 I decided to take a different approach. Instead of declaring I would be a happier person if I lost twenty pounds or finally learned to control the piles of papers and such that have been my trademark my entire life (it doesn't look organized to the lay person, but I know exactly where everything is), I decided to try anew tactic.
My 2014 resolution was to learn to accept and love myself EXACTLY THE WAY I AM.
Yes, I said it- exactly the way I am.
I have spent so many years of my life not liking myself that this seemed even more insurmountable than getting organized. It was the only goal I made for myself and for once I didn't drop it after a couple of weeks. I have made a point of finding positive things about myself to focus on rather than the negative. Sure, I really could stand to drop a few pounds but after forty some odd years, a couple dozen fad diets and an eating disorder I still look the same. Perhaps, genetically, I will not ever be able to achieve that goal of perfection the media says I should. I know there are people out there who cringe when they enter my classroom or my kitchen but hey, it's my classroom and my kitchen, right?
So, I determined that I would treat myself kindly instead of beating myself up constantly. After all, I am a pretty O.K. person. I am married to a good man, we are raising two amazing boys, I have a job I enjoy, I've got great hair and I am merely a week away from being a professionally published author. Things are looking pretty good over here- no reason at all to be unhappy. Why did I spend so much of my life not realizing this?
I am not exactly sure how or when my mindset changed but sometime over the past eleven months, things have changed. When I look in the mirror now I smile instead of scowl. I may not be figure perfect but that doesn't mean I have to hide behind shapeless black clothing all the time. I have branched out into the land of color and I like it over there! Even the new glasses I picked out a couple of weeks ago are more a reflection of the me on the inside rather than the old me I never thought worthy of cute or trendy things. Somewhere along the way I have learned to like myself and appreciate myself and I am happier now than I have ever been because I don't have all that self loathing weighing me down all the time.
As we go enter into the holiday season and you start thinking a lot about others please remember to also take care of yourself.
A friend who writes devotions posted something on FB today about the miracle of God's ability to meet our needs even when we think the odds against us are impossible to overcome. I know we all know this but do we really know it on a daily basis? Part of my self revolution was to learn to let Him handle some of the details. Once I started doing that, my life changed completely. I am now, what many would say, a believer. God does handle the details if you let him.
Have a great weekend all.