This is also the year I work on being more intentional, present, and honest with myself. Let’s face it, being human limits us in ways we do not want to be limited. It creates a sense of overwhelming fear we won’t get to do it all, see it all, or accomplish it all. But we push ahead full throttle and make things happen.
I’m just plain tired of pushing anything and making stuff go where it doesn’t naturally belong. I am tired of seeing my own way come to fruition, then being completely caught off guard when I realize how unfulfilling it is. I’m tired of pretending I am in control of anything.
So, my word this year is brave, and to be brave I must be all these other things.
*Intentional~ for me, it’s a verb.
To be intentional means to stop and think about how my actions, commitments, social media, words and behavior affect others. Am I over obligating myself to too many projects? Are my commitments bumping into each other? Am I running into myself coming and going? Intentional living is about more than going above and beyond, micromanaging everything I do, or being in control. It is about really reviewing my commitments. It’s writing down on paper why I am participating, why I am doing the things I am doing. It is about freeing up some obligations I don’t do with a full heart, so I can fully be present when I am in the middle of something else.
*Present~ To me being present means being attentive.
I dislike when I sit at a restaurant and everyone is on their phone. I loathe when I must repeat myself because the tv is on, or the computer has my loved one sucked into another dimension. Most of all, I really get upset when I miss something because my head is somewhere else, and I can control those factors.
So, I shut off the tv when I write. I silence my phone and drop it in my purse at dinner. I keep it in my pocket if I am spending time with a friend. I have conversations with my husband while we are driving somewhere. I plan my writing and screen time when I am home alone. I take mental notes of opportunities missed so I can change my actions for future occasions. I am honest with myself about what I need to do, so I can be a reflection for others.
*Honest with myself~ Don’t you love it when someone says “Do as I say, not as I do”?
This was the one thing I wish my dad had never said to me. As an adult, he used to say it and we would laugh, but as a kid, it infuriated me. To be honest, I catch myself saying and representing it. It catches me off guard and I am not proud. For example, when I over commit, then torn about following through. Or when I do something I know is not right, and must share my mistake to prevent someone else from the experience. The idea of hindsight being 20/20 does not appeal to me at all. I would rather take a moment, be honest with myself, and move forward with my dignity intact.
I also have had a good dose of “this isn’t working anymore” this year, and making those changes has been tough. In my quest to be honest with myself, I quit doing a lot of things which were once really important to me. It is hard when you pour your heart and time into something, to pull back and redirect your focus because the only person who appreciates your hard work is you. I needed the brutal honesty of my closest confidants to confirm what I already knew in my heart to be true. Once I was able to admit to myself the changes I needed to make it actually became clearer and I became more resolute.
In becoming brave this year I will intentionally accept new challenges. I will purposefully be present in all the moments where the choice is mine. Above all else, I will be honest with myself about relationships, obligations, and focus. If I am to be brave, I will need God’s plan for my life to unfold. So here I go.