This past year, my word was “heart”. How did I do in this department? In my mind, equally well and poor. That is how it goes; it isn’t perfect. It is growth.
This year, I wanted:
Heart means “courage or enthusiasm”; this year, I want to tackle everything in front of me with the courage and enthusiasm that I know burns in my heart. I want to look at a start line, a tough conversation, or a scary change with a face of joy and a go-getter attitude. I want to use my heart as my fuel, knowing that the pure fire that burns inside of me is the best source of energy I can ask for. I want a heart on fire.
I think I did well at this. For the first time in a long time, I started to enjoy races. When I looked at a new journey (aka starting a new career) I went in with a “can do” attitude and approached any interview like a fun challenge. When S#^+ hit the fan for my family this year, I took care of business and did what I had to do, using my heart to fuel me through.
One area I can improve in this department is giving less energy to dread. When looking like a big event like a wedding, a reunion, or a holiday, I can still feel my heart feel with the dread of anxiety. Rather than the fire of enthusiasm, it is fear. I feel proud to face these scary things with a heart of bravery, but I would like to continue to work on pushing that dread away and filling up with enthusiasm in social situations instead.
This year I wanted to:
Heart means “love or compassion”; this year, I want to become more compassionate and more open to opening up. I want to look at my relationships and approach places of conflict with a tender heart, rather than a defensive one. I want to be smart, keeping up boundaries where boundaries should be, but I also want to use compassion and love as my guide on where to build the wall. I want a heart with softer edges.
I did less well here; though I thoroughly grew by opening myself up to new friendships, spent more time with family, tried to shower friends with love, and used emotional intelligence to try and understand others, I still feel the weight of judgement on my heart. Perhaps it is because of the way I judge myself. Perhaps it is because I am not the most trusting. Irregardless, though I took strides toward having a softer heart, I still have a lot of work to do.
This year I wanted to:
Heart means “the central or innermost part of something”; this year, I want to remember the important things. I want to remember that win or lose, the important things are my character and my love. I want to remember that allowing ourselves to accept joy and self-love into our hearts, is the toughest form of self-compassion there is to accomplish, and therefore, the most important. I want to remember to look around at the little things, to be grateful, and to pray. I want my heart to be where my feet are, being happy with who I am right now, what I have this moment, and the time I have been given this second. I want to remember that when our hearts are full, the spill-over from our fullness runs into our loved ones. That the inception of external love, is that of internal love. God starts in our hearts, after-all. I want my heart where my treasure is, and my treasure will forever and always be love. Doing it all for love, with love, and through the love God gave me. I want a heart that is centered.
This is where I was the strongest. Through our wedding, hard times, great times, races, workouts, job changes, financial changes, and everything in-between, I feel I did a great job at focusing on the important things. This year, just as many “tough” things happened as they did the previous year. However, it was my attitude that carried me through, and I am thankful for this. I had more fun, because through it all (though I wasn’t perfect…still focused on petty things sometimes) I focused on love.
I experienced a lot of great things this year. I married the love of my life. I made new friends. A great new job. Vacations to fun places. New family members introduced. Won 4 races. Was mostly healthy the entire year. Ran 2 marathons. Found some confidence in myself again.
So, all in all, I would like to keep working on my heart. I want to be more accepting. I want to keep focusing on the important things. And I want to do it all for love, with a fire that can’t and won’t burn out. So what word has been on my mind, one that will help me keep this momentum?
Per usual, I started to think of this word in October. It would seem that when the season changes, my mind starts to prepare for the next challenge. Grace.
Grace means mercy. Grace means forgiveness. This year, I want to get better at forgiveness. I want to open myself up to forgiving myself and therefore, open myself up to forgiving others. I want to recognize the cool stuff I do, and take joy in it without berating myself for not being good enough. I want to face failure with forgiveness and mercy, and stop blaming myself for everything I am not, could not do, or would not do. When I do that for myself, I want to do it for others as well. I want to stop judging people and expecting them to let me down. I want to face every relationship with grace, remembering to keep my boundaries and keep an open/understanding attitude. I want to remember the grace of God in my life, and give that grace to others & myself alike.
Grace means ease of movement. I want to start being more confident in myself and step up into womanhood. I want to shed the layer of girlhood that I hold on to, the one that says it is okay for me to play small or play a role based on others’ expectations. I want to approach races with the grace of a racer, weaving through the streets with confidence and taking a step up, racing with people that I know are faster, stronger, or smarter, thus calling me up to my fullest self. I want to approach my career with grace, stop apologizing for being myself, and take charge. I want to approach with the enthusiasm of my heart as fuel, with grace and finesse as my wheel. I want to approach social situations, friendships, relationships, with the confidence of a graceful woman. I want to remember that the best way to work through any situation, is to focus on efficiency of movement.
Grace is a prayer. I want to open myself up to more prayer, and stop being afraid of God and His judgement. I want to live my life with thankfulness, and see everything as a blessing and an opportunity. I want a heart centered in prayer and Christ, knowing that when I am centered in a place of thankfulness and positivity, every day of my life is a day of grace.
Grace means mercy. Grace means confidence. Grace means gratitude.
This is going to be a fun year.