I looked in the mirror one day this past week and said “I miss you” and I sincerely meant that. It seems silly to say that I miss myself but I was really having a moment that day. Every part of me used to be in sync with the other parts, but lately that has not been the case. I have made some major changes in my personal life in the past year and I have just now realized that I am really out of touch with who I am. I function as a machine going from one day to the next and hoping for better but not really positioning myself to achieve greater. I miss that determination and hunger. I miss that health conscious lady whose favorite workout was a 30 minute Beyonce jam session. More importantly I miss engaging in meaningful conversations with people who mean the world to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no destitute millenial, but I know I can be a much better me and that’s what I have to focus on.
This is the year I dedicate to myself and you should too. It all starts with you. Journey back to your center and try to stay there as much as possible. With the entire world in an uproar, this notion is more important than ever but it is not as easy as it seems to be on buzzfeed lists and youtube videos. It requires time and energy that you have to be honest with yourself about whether you have it in you. Once you get there you will know true happiness and infinite peace. This month I will be covering all kinds of roads that all lead back to caring for your entire self. We teach kids to never be selfish but I am telling you as a working and sometimes struggling adult, a little selfishness is vital. You can’t be good for everybody else if you don’t care of yourself.
It’s a new year but don’t worry. You won’t be on this journey alone and I am well aware that it will take more than a month to really grasp the concept of self-care. I am willing to give it my all and be patient if you are doing the same. I have a few ideas to help us get started:
1.Write it down: Habakkuk 2:2 states, “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it”. I take this scripture very much to heart. But when I write I don’t just write down my hopes and dreams. I write my prayers, my fears, my frustrations, and my pain. It’s a release for me and I write every single day no matter the significance. Try to put your life on paper and you will be surprised at how much better you will feel.
2. Shut off the world: (I am really talking to my own self with this one) Don’t make social media your entire life. It’s something that I should not have to say but we don’t really realize how time consuming and how toxic it is. From celebrity news to false headlines; it’s good to be informed but it is not good for it to be a vital part of our days. Turn the phone off and pick up a book. Watch an old movie and just sit outside and get some fresh air. Interact with others and drown yourself in art and traveling.
3. Serve the world: I know I just encouraged selfishness, but it does feel good doing something for others or for the planet. You have to let your light shine and what better way than to help others obtain the same happiness you are working on. Volunteer to read books at a library, plant a tree, and find out other ways that you could use your knowledge, time, and energy to lend a hand to others. It does feel good.
4. Cut yourself some slack: Don’t get this confused with feeling sorry for yourself. Don’t have a bad day and then sit at home and eat ice cream (guilty). Get up and push harder, encourage yourself, dust yourself off, and be reassured that no matter what, you will be okay. Rome wasn’t built in one day and greatness takes time. Greatness also means stepping back to move forward.
5. Get out and see the world: You don’t necessarily need a sabbatical but by all means take one if you can! Go somewhere new, try some new food, and spend time meditating and taking in new surroundings. Sometimes we have to remove ourselves from an area to gain a new perspective. This year I plan to have more experiences and less material things. The world is huge and I need to get started seeing God’s creations!
Make your own list and stick to it. You have so much to offer and God wants to help you reach your full potential. Turn to Him and take heed to His guidance. Nobody is perfect and that opportunity you are looking for will manifest but always make self-care a priority before it it’s too late.
Peace and Blessings Blackbirds.