What Do You Hold? #HappyNewYear

What it do, Fam??? Can you believe we’ve stepped into a new year? Where did 2017 go? I’m not complaining, because believe you me, I’m glad to see it go! I literally spent the last quarter of 2017 in reflection. From October on, I spent many hours thinking about what 2017 meant for the scope of my existence. I contemplated how certain transformations within me will translate into changing the entire course of my life. I know I can be a little melodramatic at time, but I meant exactly what I just said. There are times in life when you know that something has shifted within you, therefore you can be certain that things are going to change around you.

We create what we believe; about ourselves, our circumstances, our ability to create change in order to live the life we’ve always dreamed of having. I truly believe that all of our experiences, both positive and negative, help shape us, whether for the good or not. It’s up to us to choose how we respond to those events. I always strive to learn the lesson in the experience, and my experiences this year have taught me truths that I will always hold dear to me.

I’d like to share some of them with you, in the hopes that they will inspire you to reflect on what you hold closely in your heart.

Number One: Rock Bottom Is Not the End. I lost my full-time job in March of 2017. To make matters worse, I also spent time in and out of the hospital and doctor’s offices for a newly diagnosed chronic disease. So not only did I have to face mounting medical bills, but I had no way to pay them. No health insurance meant paying out-of-pocket for the medicine I needed to keep my heart from attacking itself. Thank God for my sister and her generosity. As you can imagine, it was a low point in my life. I felt overwhelmed. My pride was hurt, my spirit was crushed…And then God stepped in. My perspective regarding what it means to earn a living changed for the better. I no longer want, nor believe, that a 9-5 is the only way to live. God breathed new life into my long held desire of being an entrepreneur and began to show me ways to make it a reality. Make no mistake, the going has been tough, but I’m walking in purpose and that makes the steep mountains much easier to climb.

Number Two: Self-Care is Not Optional. Why do we think that it’s OK to put ourselves last on our lists? It’s not and I know that deep down to my core now. I struggled for decades with feeling like taking time to care for myself was selfish and unnecessary. The only way I rewarded myself or gave to myself was with food and it was entirely unhealthy and self-destructive. This year I finally got this whole self-care thing. I matter. I’m worth it. I deserve it. I’m not going to let anyone stop me from doing it. Now, I sleep when I’m tired. I do things simply for the joy of doing it. I let go of unhealthy guilt. I say no without tripping. I allow myself to daydream. I meditate. I do things that feed my soul, so that I don’t have to fill my body to numb the desire for a more meaningful life. I’m giving myself that meaningful life, and it’s made all the difference.

Number Three: God Loves Me. You would think I already had a good grasp on this, right? Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever understand the depth and breath of His love for me, or any of us. I’m pretty sure it’s beyond our comprehension. What I know for sure is that 2017 gave me the gift of a better grip on how much God delights in me. His is the only unconditional love I’ve ever known, and now I take time to bask in that knowledge. He doesn’t love me for what I do, or what I give, but because He made me. I wish I could wax poetic about how overwhelmingly, intentionally, unreservedly He loves you and me. But my words are far too limited to do it justice. I know that He does, He has and He always will.

I hope you all enter 2018 with lessons of this past year tucked tenderly in your hearts, knowing that the adventure that awaits you will be that much more amazing because even though you don’t know what 2018 has in store for you, you know exactly what you hold.