By now, we’ve all seen those videos—you know, the ones floating around social media where someone is calling on God and asking to not be the strongest soldier? That’s me. I feel like I am on the phone with God, asking that this year would be gentle and peaceful. Dear God, I would rather not be put on the ‘strongest soldiers’ list. Thank You. I’m not sure about you, but for me 2022 was full of beauty and loss. I found myself coming into 2023 without wind in my sails. I struggled to even think of a word for this year.
Sis, how are you? How did you walk into this year? Were you running in with zeal and renewed energy, ready to tackle a new year with your goals and vision board all set? Or were you like me, moving a bit slower (crawling into the year, actually) and hoping that 2023 would be a bit gentler? Every time I wonder if I will be able to endure the pain that comes with transition and loss, I’m reminded of other seasons in life when I lost something or someone and, eventually, I found my way through it. But I needed time.
I think there’s an unspoken expectation that we have to start the year ready to accomplish audacious goals. We buy new workout clothes and make big, new plans for the year. Ultimately, some of us make promises to ourselves we can’t keep. I am guilty of this—I’ve broken many “resolutions.” Since I crawled into this year, I’ve decided I should start things slowly instead of going at full speed when my tank was already on E.
I wonder if we are missing the whole point of the turn of the new year. I wonder how different things would be if we reflected on the year before and processed what happened, if we took a moment to sit a little longer and think about the joys, pains, adventures, and victories… What was the highlight of our year? How did those moments feel? How do we feel in our bodies?
As it stands, people typically give themselves a day or so to reflect on the closing year. Just 24 hours to reflect on 365 whole days of life, and then we move on to how we will make everything better and different for the new year.
I think we have it all wrong.
What if we position ourselves to start off slowly, to spend the whole first month of the new year reflecting on the year before? What went well and what didn’t? How did I recover from the hard moments? What do I need to keep healing? Everything doesn’t have to be rushed, and you don’t have to rush yourself. Honestly, I am writing this to myself because I’m an overachiever who likes to get a lot done, but the truth is sometimes I don’t sit with my wins or my pain long enough.
I wanna dust off my hands and I wanna move on sometimes. But I know from experience that the best gifts I can give myself are rest, reflection, and peace. As I get older, I realize I have to sit in the hard spots, the good spots, and everything in between. I can reflect on good and bad times and still look forward to the future with anticipation and joy.
I don’t have to choose. And sis, you don’t have to choose either. You can be happy and sad all in one and still hope for a softer year. You can make room for ease and gentleness, starting with giving yourself grace and tending to your needs first.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the new year? How are you slowing down to reflect before jumping back into the rat race?Leave a Comment