A dear friend of mine posted on Facebook about choosing a word that is going to be her focus during 2015. It never occurred to me to choose a word to describe a year. My first thought was, "Nah. Keep scrolling." But, it kept nagging at me, and after some recent drama, I realized that I needed a focus work for this upcoming year. 2014 was hard. I made it through, but I came out of this year with a broken heart, an injured soul, and a defeated soul. I don't want to carry these things into the new year. I don't want to carry these another day. I want to be free, and the only one carrying around my chains of bondage is me. No more. So, without further ado, my word for 2015 is ... (drum roll please) ....
I resolve to reduce the amount of negativity I allow into my heart and mind, and therefore increase the amount of love I'm able to give to everyone I meet.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted on Facebook about all of the negative stuff that fills my news feed. I enjoy social media, so I didn't want to do what some people do, and just walk away from it. I like reading about what is going on in my friends' lives, looking at pictures of their growing children, praying for them, laughing with them. But I did make the decision to start hiding posts or "de-friending" those that continue to spew negativity into social media. Let me be very clear here - I don't care if we have a different opinion, that doesn't matter to me. What matters is your attitude about your opinion. The example that I used is about President Obama. If you don't like him, that's fine, I have no problem if you bring that up. My problem lies when you talk about how he's horrible because he's African-American, or that horrible things should happen to him or his family. I've seen similar posts about the riots in Missouri and New York, gay marriage, gun control, the Pope, etc etc etc. Enough!! The extreme negativity is so harmful. That attitude hurts people - and it hurts yourself. It makes me sad when people I genuinely like show that they are capable of such hatred. I want to bang my head into a wall. But I won't, because instead, I'm going to start reducing the negativity.
I resolve to reduce the amount of drama that I allow my family to experience, and therefore increase the amount of calm and nurturing compassion others might gain from my example.
A step above the negativity is drama. There are a few people in my life that are just bent on creating havoc wherever they go. They say things just to watch fur fly. They do things without any thought to the consequences. Everything becomes more intense, and more hurtful, and more delirious, and more painful, and... and... and... well, you get the idea. Now, I'm a passionately emotional person, so I absolutely understand how things can be more dramatic, but when you completely ignore feelings of those around you? You're a drama-llama, and it is hurtful to those around you, and you're doing damage to yourself.
I resolve to reduce the instances of conflict that we experience, and therefore increase the amount of conflict resolution that takes place in our life, hopefully settling old problems, and smoothing the way for healing to take place.
Taking it just one step further ... I have some individuals in my life that are just bent on causing conflict. They have started entire wars over their own selfish behaviors and desires, with absolutely no thought to how their abusive lifestyles effect those around them. I have been screamed at more times this year than I have ever in my entire life - all for trying to defend and protect loved ones. No more. Let this be my absolute word - if you try to bring your abusive psychotic stupidity around me or my family, you will be asking for a whole new level of Mama Bear that I'm sure you're not prepared for. (Was that a little much? Meh. Whatever.)
I resolve to reduce the pressure that I put on myself, so that I can increase the joy I experience in the little things in life - and even when times are difficult.
I'm not just suffering from the frustration caused by others, but I've become a victim of my own abuse. I put entirely too much pressure on myself to do all the things and all the other things, to be on point, to do everything that needs to get done - and then even more. I compensated a lot this year. I tried to make up for all the crud going on by doing bigger and better in other areas. I know the kids and friends appreciated it, but I also know that I wore myself out. I can't do that again this year. I can't twist myself into a thousand directions just so I can not feel bad about the bad stuff.
I resolve to reduce the obligations that I have made, and not take on a bunch of new obligations, so that I can increase the time I spend with my family and my passions.
When Hubby and I first started dating, I was so intent on impressing the people in his life so that I would be considered worthy to marry him, that I almost killed myself doing everything. I cooked, baked, party planned, set things up, tore things down, went early, left late ... you get the idea. Hubby made me promise to never get into that position again, and for the last ten years I've actually done pretty good. But I'm starting to get in over my head. I'm still holding true to my promise to only do things that I *love* which is good, but I'm still doing too much, and I'm struggling to balance my time out and spend time doing the things I truly love - like spending time with my family, or photography.
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That's all I can think of for now, although I suspect that as the year goes on, I'll probably add a couple of more. Time for me to take out the nonsense and spend more time with God, my family, and myself.
Praying you all have a happy and blessed new year.