I’m a bit of a control freak. My home is perfectly organized and color-coordinated. I’m obsessed with making lists, managing my google calendar, and I’m constantly updating my five-year life plan. My husband calls me bossy and my dog complains that I’m overprotective, and they’re both right. I think I’m in charge of my life, but God is laughing at me and my silly, self-imposed OCD. Control is an illusion, because change is inevitable and unpredictable.
2016 was full of unexpected moments, I think for all of us. Some people are calling it the worst year ever. I personally experienced a lot of setbacks this year. I suffered serious illness, the loss of a loved one, a car accident, a forced relocation from my home due to mold, and my dog almost died (though this happens every year because she’s a little rascal that gets into everything).
2016 was also the year I started this blog. I feel very proud of that because I made it happen even though I spent most of the year too sick to get out of bed. All of my creative projects are like babies to me, and this blog was born after a very long and painful labor. At the time, it seemed impossible that I could bring it into the world amidst the chaos, but when life gives you lemons, Beyonce makes Lemonade, and anything seems possible.
So this year has been full of blessings, as well as plenty of disappointments. But I don’t want to dwell on the past, because now is a time for moving forward. What happened in 2016 is done, and we can’t change the past, or erase our mistakes, or force others to change, or unelect our new president. Here’s what we can do:
Be In The Moment
It’s important to reflect on the past so we can learn from it. But the past only exists in our memory and is not more important than our present reality. Don’t get stuck living in your head. Be in the moment, and you will have the power to create better memories.
It’s also important to not live in a daydream. While it’s an excellent tool to set goals and make plans, you must remember that you are not a fortune teller. You don’t know what’s around the corner, so it’s futile to put too much mental energy into molding your hypothetical future. Be in the moment, and you will have the power to make choices that can affect your future for the better.
Every single person has their own experience of suffering; their own flavor of sadness. We all get screwed over sometimes. Life is democratic in that way- it doles out the shit indiscriminately.
It’s valid to feel sorry for yourself when bad shit happens to you. But when you decide to live in the land of the victimized and make that your raison d’etre, you end up disempowering yourself.
These days, it seems like identifying as a victim can be especially rewarding. Don’t be seduced by it. You are better than that. Take responsibility for your life, and you will have the power to change it. Open yourself up to the ways that you are blessed, and you will realize the gifts you have to share with the world.
Make It Better
January 1st is not the only day to set resolutions. Every day is an opportunity for a fresh start. In fact, in every moment, you have the power to shift your perspective. You can see life through a closed lens, and focus on what you can’t control, like your past, your future, other people, and whatever shit life has served you. Or you can see life through an open lens and notice the opportunities in front of you. If you awaken to your potential in each moment, it will become clear what choices will make your life better, and in turn the world a better place.
Happy New Year!