An Open Letter to 2017: Reflecting on the Positive
I know that I am usually coming to you straight from the kitchen, still in an apron, or with a new recipe, but today my focus is a little more thoughtful and pensive. As 2017 nears its end, I’ve been reflecting on the days that have passed, so quickly I might add, and I am so humbled by the many things in my life that fill me with joy and love. There is no doubt that many things have happened in this world, as well as in our own lives this year and it is so easy sometimes to dwell on the negative and the things that go wrong in our lives instead of looking at the positive and the things that fill us up with happiness or the things that we so easily take for granted. It is through no fault of our own, rather human nature that takes hold sometimes. But in those moments, try to remember to take a step back, take a deep breath, think before you talk, reflect before you act. In those few moments while you feel as though crisis is taking a hold of you, that breath or minute to think can change your whole outlook on the current situation.
This vague thought that I am sharing with you today can be applied to a plethra of situations. Such as, when your kids are being relentlessly obstanant and not listening to you tell them to brush their teeth 5 times or perhaps moving at the speed of snail in the morning before the bus comes. Instead of screaming and then feeling horrific about it after they leave for school, kindly explain to them that this is their responsibility and if it does not get done, then that is something they need to deal with. You can not be the keeper of everything to everybody. You will feel better that you spoke to them rather than screamed at them and in turn your children will learn how to speak back to you and to others as well.
Maybe you have a situation with your best friend who you feel has drifted away and you don’t know why. So you automatically blame yourself instead of opening the lines of communication because you are afraid of what you are going to hear. Don’t be afraid. EVER! Meet the problem head on. If you care for this person and you care to continue to have a relationship with them…put in the work! Nothing in this life is easy. The last thing you want to hear from someone you care about is that you did something to hurt them. But if you are given this information you can grow from it. You can learn from your mistakes. You can become an even better verision of you. We are not put here on this earth to be perfect and there is nothing wrong with saying “I’m sorry.” They are two little words, but they hold so much weight.
What about when you get into an arguement or a heated discussion with our spouse or significant other and you feel like they are not listening to you? Maybe it’s because, despite their best efforts, they are not in your shoes and do not carry the same feelings and thoughts about things as you do. Learn to accept the fact that you are different and your differneces are what make you work, not what wedges you part from one another. It is so easy to blame those closest to you for the things that go wrong in your life, but it that fair? It’s not fair to them because they have done nothing wrong and it is not fair to you because then you will never know your truth. Take that persons love for you and use it as your strength when you feel weak instead of trying to make them feel weaker than you. If you do that, not only will you flourish but your relationship with that person will to.
Here’s one of the biggest negativity issues we throw at ourselves. We all, myself included, have these grand plans or ideas of what we want out of life. We all set these (sometimes unattainable) goals and than wined up beating ourselves up over the goals we didn’t accomplish or fell short of completeing. We sabotage ourselves along the way too by making excuses as to why we can’t get this or that done. Maybe you’ve heard yourself say things like… “I’m too busy, I’ll get to that tomorrow.” “I don’t have time to sit down and write that letter or song or blog post, I have to get the grocery shopping done and pay the bills.” Or my personal favorite, “I’m not that good at this anyway and I am getting nowhere..so why even bother.” Stop selling yourself short!!! You are unique and brilliant, talented and skillful. If you imagine it vividly enough, whatever that goal may be, you can make it happen.
So as the new year is about to begin, let us all hit the refresh button. Let’s all give ourselves credit where credit is due. Let’s lift up the people in our lives that give us meaning and purpose instead of beating them down. Let’s set attainable goals and go kick each and every one of them in the ass! Stay focused on the positive in situations and the things and people that fill you up with joy. By taking that breath, by thinking before you speak, by reflecting before you act, you give yourself the opportunity to be the best version of yourself there is.
Have a year full of gratitude, hopefulness, inward peace, outward joy and love abound!
With Love Always, Annamarie