Take the high road. My stomach is churning, my hands are shaking, I want to shout at the top of my lungs in a raging fit. But I will take the high road. You’ve angered me, displeased me, infuriated me. You’ve hurt me, but I will take the high road. I will not succumb to this, this destructive, heinous, conniving way of thinking and living. I feel the rage, the fury, I feel it in full force as if fire-filled blood is rushing through my veins. It’s not fair, it’s not gratifying, it’s not positive or happy and at the moment it doesn’t even feel bearable. But it’s life. This is what we must go through, this is what God has in store for us as we tread through this wearisome life on earth. This is a test, a test of our faith, a test of our character, values and righteousness. Will we succumb to these feelings, these injustices lashed upon us? We say all the right things; “think positive thoughts,” “let the feelings pass,” “spread love, positivity, and cheer,” “be the bigger person.” But in the moment it is SO hard. It feels as though no ounce of my emotion is in my favor. It’s easy. It’s easy to fight back, to yell at the top of my lungs, to dig deeper until I feel that I have conquered. But while easy it is not right. It’s not right to fight back, it’s not right to get the last word, or any combative word for that matter. This is the time, this is when I must use what God has taught me, what I have been practicing, and what I preach to others. This is the time to face the fire head on and fight it with the light, my light, God’s light. So no, I will not fight back. I will not let the burning heat of rage and fury expose itself, and one day I will not let allow this grotesque anger a space in my heart in the first place. But for now, I will learn to cope, I will learn to lead with love, and compassion. I will be the bigger person, not for the gratification of being the bigger person but for the gratification of God, for it is he who is the real judge. I will love until there is nothing left to love, and I will give until I have nothing left to give. I will look you in the eyes and smile, showering you in my thoughtful compassion. Because you deserve it. You deserve to be loved, you deserve to feel important, you deserve my empathy. We all do, no matter how wrong, how nefarious, or atrabilious you are, you deserve respect. So it is respect I will give, and love I will show. I wish the world would be a better place, I wish there were no anger, no combative thoughts, no jealousy. But who am I to wish these discrepancies away? I do not have the power to do so, however, I do have power. I have the power to make my corner of the world a better place, to surround those who wrong me with my utmost respect and patience. To change the tone, change the vibe, and cultivate a space of kindness. I give you my love, I give you my blessing and I hope that one day you can feel the burden lifted off your shoulders, and peace that I have felt in coming to terms with letting go of this anger.
Sometimes I get stressed, I lash out at people I love, I talk down on myself, I compare. Sometimes I’m on top of the world, everything is going right, I’m positive and happy 24/7. Sometimes I don’t say what I really think because I’m afraid of what people might think. A lot of times I do things I don’t want to just to please other people. Contrary to many people on this platform, I’m NOT a liberal, NOT a feminist. I believe in working hard, I know I can achieve what I want and I don’t need to protest for that and that’s just what I believe, if you don’t agree that’s fine. That doesn’t mean we don’t have similar interests, hobbies, and viewpoints. And who’s to say that won’t change? I’m a college student, I haven’t lived through enough responsibility to have formulated a real political opinion. I love yoga. I meditate when I can. I need to workout everyday to feel sane. Sometimes I workout too long and study too much. I believe in God. This is who I am, I won’t apologize for that and I don’t believe it’s something I should hide. Recently I’ve taken a break from social media. I haven’t felt myself, the seasonal depression is kicking in, the anxiety is high. I’ve been thinking a lot about who I want to be and who I want around me. I don’t want this platform to be somewhere I just “show off” my life. I want it to be somewhere I am unapologetically myself. If you don’t agree with my opinions, that’s fine. But we can still be friends. We can agree to disagree and learn from each other. I don’t want to use social media for followers or to please anyone else. And in all honesty, I don’t want to put off an image of being someone I’m not. Social media is not my job, it’s not where I get my confidence. Sometimes I post everyday, sometimes I go months without it because it’s too much and I have to step away. I can’t promise I’ll only post pictures of food, or yoga, or fitness. Sometimes I go into overly-analyzed deep and thoughtful rants. It’s a work in progress, I’m a work in progress. I’m learning to use social media as a space, a place where I can share my journey, connect with like-minded people, learn and grow from others and share my ideas. I am learning to navigate this form of interaction and find that perfect balance between productivity and enjoyment. Finding community is one of the most important things in life, community lifts us up, gives us a safe place and contributes a great deal to overall wellness. I believe social media can be an amazing means of connecting and finding this community if used in the right way. I’m not saying I have all the answers, and I’m not sure if posting all of this and sharing my journey will even pay off one day. But I believe we can learn something from everything and if I can help even five people, or connect to a small group of like-minded individuals that make me feel part of a community, that’s enough for me.
Another year another bombardment of new years resolutions. Lose weight! Eat healthier! Exercise more! Social media less! Save money! It seems as though everywhere we look we are reminded that everyone around us has these big plans to CHANGE this year. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been one for resolutions…particularly new years resolutions. I’ve always thought of them as…how do I put it, pointless? Not to be transparently blunt but I’ve held the idea that we should always be resolving ourselves, reinventing ourselves, and working towards the best version of ME. And in all seriousness, how many people ACTUALLY stick with their big new year goals? As the story goes, January 1st rolls around, we have high aspirations, maybe even hit the gym for a month or two, and by April the resolutions are out the window. Let’s be honest, half of us don’t even remember those bright eyed and busy tailed intentions we had three months before.
As much as I’d love to bash on this lacking tradition, this year I’m thinking a little differently. I’m giving this resolution thing a shot, but not in the whole “I’m going to come up with these impractical, overly ambitious goals and forget them in three months” type of way. I’m going to set short, practical, realistic goals and take the steps necessary to ensure that I become a healthier, happier, stronger version of myself in 2019.
Before I jump into my new and improved resolutions I want to address how exactly I plan to follow through with my goals. A few steps to success, if you will.
Instead of coming up with a list of majorly daunting changes, focus on small, attainable goals to slowly work towards a better version of yourself.
Write it down
Physical documentation is SO important. Even if you never look at your list again, writing it down will help to mold your goals into your mind and make them easier to remember.
Revisit and Revise
This might be the most important key to carrying through with our intentions. As we change and work towards achieving our goals it is important to revisit our initial intentions and make the changes necessary to ensure that we are on the right track. We might even achieve our goals faster than we think, giving us the opportunity to add new resolutions to our list.
Why are you setting the goals that you’ve chosen? Are they for YOUR benefit or for the benefit of others? Will they make you a better person mentally, physically, and spiritually?
Keep it Simple
Don’t set overly ambitious goals. Know your limits, where you are and where you want to be. Try to be realistic with what you can achieve and when you can achieve it. If there are major changes you want to make start with something small and take steps towards change instead of trying to change everything at once.
Share Share Share
For some of us, it’s hard to talk about ourselves, especially the parts of us that we believe need improvement. Find someone or a group of people with whom you can share your goals. They will help to keep you accountable and saying it out loud helps us remember our intentions.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Do what you can, but accept where you are. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not as easy as you thought, or life gets in the way. We’re only human, remember that.
While these are all great steps towards achieving and maintaining goals, remember you don’t need a new year, a beach vacation, a wedding, or an anticipated date to renew and reinvent yourself. We should constantly be asking ourselves what can I do better? Where am I at the moment and where do I want to be? What is holding me back? Set your mind to CHANGE, commit yourself to you and remember YOU are your best investment.
For those who are interested or need some goal setting motivation, here are my new years resolutions for 2019:
- Relax; I’m a type A, there is no doubt about that. I am constantly going, going, going. I love to be productive and stay busy but with that sometimes comes a price. I forget to relax, or even worse, I think I don’t need to relax. This year I want to dedicate time without distractions, without busy work. Time in which I can truly reap the benefits of pure relaxation
- Let the small things go; I’ll be honest. I’m a girl, I get emotional, sometimes my emotions get the best of me. This year I want to work on learning when to express emotion and when to keep it to myself.
- Be more giving; Remember the golden rule- “treat others how you want to be treated.” I was constantly reminded of this when I was a child, but as I get older I think sometimes we forget the basics. We get so caught up in our life, our futures, our present moment, that we forget to put others before ourselves.
- Find community; This is my most sought after goal on my list. It’s tough being a college student who doesn’t love to party, who rather stay in and cook, exercise, and spend long hours on the yoga mat. I’ve prided myself in being independent for as long as I can remember, but I feel that it is time for me to build deeper, more meaningful relationships.
- Grow in my faith; I am a christian. I believe in God, I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior, and I am always working on growing and deepening this relationship. This year I want to dive into scripture, find a supportive Christian community and truly learn to lead and love through faith.
- Stop complaining; This one doesn’t need much of an explanation. I think we all succumb to complaining a little more often than we’d like to admit. It’s everywhere, from social media posts, to the small talk with the person in front of you at the grocery store. It seems as though we are always unsatisfied. I want to be the person pointing out the positives, bringing others up. Part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
- Take a chance; Part of change comes with uncertainty. It can be scary to make all these changes to yourself. You might grow out of friendships, grow into new hobbies, and become someone entirely new. There are beautiful things that come with change but we will never experience the beauty if we don’t allow ourselves to step out of our comfort zone and embrace uncertantity.