If I am honest with myself, I have a handful of things in the world that I think I’m not so bad at. I can make a mean vegetarian lasagna, and if you want to learn how to grow tomatoes and can them, I’m your girl. When asked by my oldest kiddo to sketch some of his favorite cartoon characters for him to color, at least they look somewhat like what they should, and for the things I don’t have the knowledge of, I do have the passion to try them anyway. I attempt to focus on my strengths, however this time of the year always bring to light one thing that I know, deep in my heart, I am truly terrible at… like so terrible that I don’t even speak it in my household.
New Year’s Resolutions. For years I would make them, until I realized that making them and keeping them were two different things altogether, and while I was stellar at making them – and making good ones at that – I am terrible at keeping them. I would try hard, don’t get me wrong, but the moment that I found myself slipping up, I would lose energy to try again. I may not easily give up on people or on myself, but New Year’s Resolutions are a whole different story. So, while I get excited about the new year, I don’t talk resolutions for I know the outcome if I do.
As the new year approached, I started hearing talk about people gearing up for their resolutions. Knowing my stance on the matter, I did everything to be excited for others for how they were prepping for a better year ahead and not feel a sense of panic knowing that I didn’t have the capacity to follow in their footsteps. I was proud of my ability to stand strong on the matter, that is until I chatted with a dear friend and found him to be the third person who takes a whole different approach to the new year, and it seemed one that I had the capacity to not fail at. It was then that peer pressure gave in, and I opted to give it a try. Little would I know, it would change everything – how I saw the world and how I saw myself – and failing wasn’t a possibility. Instead, the only outcome promised was growth. And that is exactly what the coming year needed.
Truth. That single word was my New Year’s Resolution. I didn’t opt for losing weight or eating healthier. I didn’t end up choosing to exercise more or give up chai tea lattes, my fav! Instead, I decided to choose one word and let that one word drive my year. When I heard of others using a single word to dedicate a year to, I allowed myself to ponder the concept long enough for a word to pop up front and center, and not be shaken no matter how hard I tried. So, I caved in, I gave up, and I am allowing that single word – truth – to guide this year.
In less than a month, I have found such clarity in my life around a single word. Who would have known that “truth” could take so many shapes? When I find myself driving down the road or taking a shower (about the only times I find quiet space), my mind wanders to that word and what it means in various aspects of my life. How can truth guide my thoughts? How can it impact my relationships with others? What business decisions can now be made if I am truthful with how I yearn for my business to grow? And my faith relationship… well truth can only deepen what that means for it.
So many directions to go – and I am excited about what the year will bring – but within the first few days of 2019 I found a gatekeeper to my year’s success. It became evident so quickly that I had no other choice than to tackle it head on. If I wanted to find truth in all aspects of my life, I needed to start with learning how to find truth from within. You see, as a writer of stories, I’ve come to learn that there are two stories always happening in our lives. There is the story around you and the story within you, and many times, those two stories don’t work in harmony.
Think about it with me for a moment. When someone tells you that they love your new outfit, you may outwardly thank them for their kind words, but inwardly, be self-conscious of how it draws attention to what you think are your less flattering features. Or what about when you meet a new person at work? You may strike up a conversation with yourself on how there is no way you can be seen for that upcoming promotion now being that the new guy has many more accolades on his resume. While he may look better on paper, you may be neglecting the amazing work you’ve done all those years giving you more experience and thus a greater chance at the promotion. You see, before you know it, the story within can cripple you. It can cause you to lose your confidence in your abilities, your belief in what could be possible, and your passion to follow your life’s purpose. And all over something that isn’t truth.
For me to find truth in all aspects of my life, I must start with speaking truth to myself. From the moment that I wake up and look in the mirror, I start crafting my story for the day, and if I expect to find truth in others, I must tell myself truths about myself at that very moment. I am capable of anything. I am worthy of everything. And I am enough. My strengths and my weaknesses make me me, and this year I am refusing to deny them anymore. Instead, they are my truths, and they will help me grow to see and love the truths in other aspects of life.
Are you truthful to yourself? Do you give yourself the recognition you deserve? Do you spend your time seeing the true and beautiful aspects of you, or do you dwell on those which you create as you write a different story, and one less truthful? Aren’t you worth being loved, worthy of being passionate, and deserving of the same respect that you give others? I’ve come to find that if you can be truthful to yourself, you can’t expect to find truth elsewhere.
Whether you have made a New Year’s Resolution (and have had success in keeping it thus far) or not, I promise I’m the last person to judge there! In fact, how can I if I’m truthful with my inability to do so myself. Instead, I challenge you – right here, right now – to opt for a new way of looking at the year ahead. Be true to yourself and give yourself some grace in the process, for in all honesty, the best resolution is one that helps you reach new growth. It’s never too late to trek the path to your potential. What word will help YOU get there?