Honestly, I didn’t know if I’d make it into 2017. A lot has been going on in my life and I’m in an upheaval. That’s not a bad thing. Change is often good. But I understand the darkness and dimness and fog people talk about. I understand the allure of all the promises and products to “get a whole new life.” But here’s my question: WHAT ABOUT CHERISHING AND POLISHING THE LIFE YOU HAVE NOW?
Of course, there are things you want to change. You want to improve. You want to rid yourself of unhealthy habits and add healthy ones. That’s not the same as building a new life, because in order to build a new life, you have to destroy you old life.
That’s silly if you ask me. It’s a sure road to futility and frustration.
Life is a gift. YOUR life is a gift divinely designed just for you. It’s no fluke that you were born when you were born and where you were born. Your physical features make you unique. So do your experiences. Your genome is yours alone. Out of almost 9 billion people, no one has your particular recipe. Sure, your family is flawed, but it’s also fabulous. Your house needs work, so work on it. Your career needs advancing, so advance it. Your kids drive you crazy, go along for the ride. And love? Just stop and savor it. All kinds of love.
You can’t change your past, but by darn you can use it to guide your future. You can stand taller this year and be responsible for your own life. You can make amends where you can, and trust God to fix the things you can’t fix. You can stop tolerating the crap that’s harmful and just plain dim. You can add new experiences, adventures, and learning. It’s not about spending money; it’s about investing wisely in your own life.
You can be the light. You’re meant to be the light. Here’s how you do it:
- Come out of the darkness. The picture is symbolic for me because it’s me literally coming out of the fog.
- Open your soul’s eyes and be mindful of miracles. They’re there.
- Stand in front of a mirror (clothing optional) and marvel at the miracle of your body. Don’t you dare mock, ridicule or be unkind. Just marvel and vow to take care of every inch of it.
- See the people that God has brought to the threshold of your heart. List everyone who matters to you and figure out why they’re there. If you need to close a door on someone who hurts you, close it, gently, but firmly. You decide when and if you’ll answer, should they knock to be let back in.
- No one makes progress staying stagnant.
- Eat for energy and strength. Not for gratification or companionship.
- Clean the clutter. If something isn’t purposeful or meaningful give it away or sell it. The simpler your life is, the more it will feel new.
- Ask your Highest Power for help to understand why you exist, why you’re where you are, and what you can do to increase your light. Then listen and trust the answers that come.
I don’t mean to get preachy. I do mean to get passionate. So this message is mostly for me. I haven’t always loved my life. It hasn’t been easy. The odds have never been in my favor. 96.7 percent of dreams have not come true. There are so many, many things I’d like to change. But I do not want a new life. I want a greater appreciation for the life I have. I want to cherish my loved ones even more than I do. I want to see more good in life and focus on that. I want to welcome the available light.
My singular goal for 2017 is to be more spiritual. Not religious. Spiritual. I want to connect with my Highest Power and find new ways to be His light. Buddha said, “It’s during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” He also said, to “let your light so shine.” I guess that means I need to re-focus. I don’t need a new life. I just need more light. So I’ll be looking for ways to flip my internal light switch. And no. I won’t buy into the dull, depressing hype that I need a whole new life when all I really need to do is change a burned out bulb.
Here’s to your best and BRIGHTEST year ever!