Today is the last day of the first month of 2022. I have been trying to decide what to say about what I learned last year. I began the year strong with a desire to live the good life (you can see that here). However, I thought it would be better if I made specific changes to my life.
So, I journaled about my purpose, paid attention to what I wanted to do, read the bible, and talked to God a lot. I wrote a book, got a new job, and moved across the country. Then I got overwhelmed and began to struggle along. Life at home became more complex in a whole new way. Then I adapted, read books, watched tv shows, and paid attention to life.
From all of these things, I have learned that all of life is good. It is good in all its stages, suffering, and pain. In all of the beautiful pieces, friendships, celebrations, it is good. All of it is good.
I have also learned not to speculate. In the middle of the year when I was preparing to move, I was talking to various people about all the moving pieces of life. My people and I speculated about God’s plan. Maybe it wasn’t right to move; maybe it was too much money; maybe it was too far. On and on in circles we went. Until I became frustrated, that is.
I was praying and guessing and adjusting. Then I would pray and guess and adjust. Then I realized I was going mad, completely bonkers, trying to figure out what the right thing was. So, I stopped. I decided to do what I had already decided to do. I could not guess God’s plan – it was not for me to know. It made things so much better.
Another thing I learned is to pause and breathe. I did a fast before Easter and a self-care routine during the year where one of the things I learned was to breathe. I found a YouTube video for a guided meditation and breathing exercise. For five minutes, I just inhaled and exhaled. I focused on the point between my eyes with inside my mind. I invited the Holy Spirit to be in the moment with me.
It was then that I found him. I learned that Holy Spirit is found in the moments when we provide space for him to exist. He will guide, lead, and help. Meditation is good.
At the end of the year, I learned that it’s okay to pay attention to myself. It’s okay to do what I want to do. I do not have to focus solely on my people. I don’t have to parent, teach, interject, assist, or advise any person in my home. I can focus on myself. And that’s okay. Sometimes, it’s necessary.
This culmination of my good life journey is the opposite of what I thought it would be. I’m reminded of that expression (or cliche) that says – your grass will be green if you water it too. I think I was comparing my life to that which I thought it was supposed to be like. I forgot to pay attention to all the little things that were already good. I focused on the hard stuff. And that’s okay because I’m human.
So what do I want to focus on in 2022? I’ve spent some time this month contemplating just that. I want to focus on my word for the year: pray. I also want to focus on my mental and physical health.
I will spend time in prayer daily. I will spend time in meditation frequently. I will take care of my physical self. I have decided to take care of myself in all ways possible – mental, emotional, financial, and physical. I’ve also decided to keep on keeping on. I will give more and spend less because I enjoy giving. Instead of setting myself on fire to keep others warm, I will take a break and rest when I need it. I will do less and exist more. I will craft and scrapbook because I enjoy these things.
I hope you will join me in pushing away from the way things have always been and move towards the way things can be. I hope you will decide o make things better, recover more, and live your best life during this new beginning.
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