January one . . . the new year stands before me like a giant, blank white board. I am small before it, my hands filled with markers of every color. I don’t know what to write . . . draw . . . create . . . My heart is excited with the possibilities of the new year . . . and pained at the remembrance of failures of times past. The blank board looms . . . like Alice, I shrink ever smaller.
The truth is that the board isn’t blank. This year has not yet been written, but an outline created by all the decisions of my life up to this point forms the framework of it. That makes some decisions easier . . . I don’t have to find a husband or have some children! But everything I have done so far, everything I have become is not everything I will be. My life is far from over.
So I look toward this blank year ahead of me, thinking about the things I want to accomplish, the ways I want to change. Here’s what I’ve decided to do about my so-called “New Year’s Resolutions”:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
This quote, often attributed to Nelson Mandela, is actually by Marianne Williams. I am a great lover of quotes, but this one is my very favorite. With these courageous and powerful words in mind, I make my list of ‘resolutions’.
1. No fear – never let fear stop you from doing anything, big or small.
2. Accept yourself as you are – give yourself the same grace and acceptance you would want from others.
3. Believe the truth about yourself – choose to believe what God says about you, and refuse to believe anything else.
4. Let the light of the real you shine – be exactly who you are, even if it’s scary.
5. Choose to see the light in everyone around you – everyone wants others to ‘see the art’ in them; be the one to see it and call it out in the people around you.
So there we have it . . . No Fear, Accept, Believe, Shine, See.
Happy New Year, everyone!