Here we are in the last part of 2014, which has gotten me thinking. At the end of every year, we tend to reflect on the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly moments of the previous 12 months. We make resolutions and often pick a “power word” for the upcoming year, and for the first six weeks or so we start out strong. But how often do we finish strong? By the end of the year do we even remember what we resolved to accomplish? Are we still leaning on our power word to motivate us?
In 2013 I kept one word front and center, and that word was BELIEVE. It was my one word with many meanings. It meant I could believe in the Lord, myself, my family and my children. It meant that life is good and that we were made to enjoy it abundantly.
Throughout the year I discovered some things were much easier to believe than others. While I know life is a constant work in progress, by midyear I became stagnant. Eventually I picked up a book titled “7” by Jen Hatmaker, and what happened was completely unexpected. The more I read, the more the words brought to the surface things that I was not ready to deal with. I realized I had been doing a great job of masking anger, resentment, frustrations, and even fears. In my stagnant state of mind, however, I was comfortable and barely even acknowledged the issues which were unmasked.
It was purely by accident I realize that way of life was becoming a bad habit for me. I had stopped Believing and found myself in moments of despair often. As these deep seeded emotions began to surface I found myself in a dark place. I continually made every excuse to “remask.” I started saying things like, “If only I…” and “I should have…” Regret after regret overtook me.
After what I call my 3 months of doom and gloom, I realized I could not keep living with those thoughts and sooner rather than later I had to change them.
So I chose to change them.
Why did I make this choice? Because I am choosing to leave a legacy in the way I parent my children. As a mom and business owner, I have so much to model and share with my boys. What I do and how I behave now will be the way my boys will also show up in the world one day. And THAT is a pretty hefty responsibility!
But just how did I get myself out of this funk? Here’s what I did!
- I began by forgiving myself. I realized that I am perfectly imperfect and that is okay!
- Instead of feeling like a victim in my circumstances, I kept reminding myself those were opportunities and stepping-stones getting me to the place I wanted to be.
- I focused my energy on forgiveness, love, joy, and hope!
- I did a 30 Days of Thankfulness challenge. I missed a couple of days here and there, but I forgave myself when I did and got back on track each time it happened.
- I started believing in me again.
The song “What Faith Can Do” by Kutless really challenged me. I had heard this song numerous times, but I had never really stopped to LISTEN to the lyrics:
Overcome the odds, when you don’t have a chance
When the world says you can’t, It’ll (faith) tell you that you can!
And what I came to realize was that the world will actually say you CAN when you choose to say with faith, “Yes I can!” I think we can all be guilty of seeking approval for the things we are doing, but the bottom line is really that each of us knows and has all the answers inside of us. We just have to make and take the time to dig deep within to find them.
As I am going into the end of 2014 I’m going to continue to have faith to believe. But I’m still remembering my word for 2014 is being BRAVE.
So here’s how I’m going to make this happen. I will:
- Be kind to myself and squelch those negative thoughts by replacing them with words of faith and hope
- Take risks that will push me out of my comfort zone
- Fill my fears with love
- Allow my frustrations to be the opportunities of hope
- And in those hard and angry moments look to forgive.
- Learn and grow with the amazing women that will be at the Illuminate Conference this year!
We still have another 3 months of 2014!
The truth is everybody falls sometimes, and you will have the strength to rise! But the question is will you? Do you remember what you resolved for the year? Did you have a word? Make today the beginning of your new year and finish 2014 strong!
Have you purchased your ticket yet for Illuminate? Time is running out! Get it today! See you there on Friday, October 3rd!
Irene Gouge is wife and mom of two in Holly Springs. She supports tired parents to get sleep with gentle sleep and parent solutions focused on love and respect. As a trained and certified Gentle Sleep Coach she helps families get back those sleep filled nights to have healthy children, happy parents, and harmonious homes. She’s the creator and founder of Loving Lessons Pediatric Sleep Consulting, GetSleep.TV, and the Parent CIRCLE Network.