I woke up January 1st with electricity running through every cell in my body. I could feel the hair raising on my arms and the excitement mounting in my chest. Something about this year, not just another new year, but this one. In the past, I would have spent weeks putting together new year’s resolutions, my life goals, along with appropriate expectations and potential milestones to guarantee my success. But this year was different. Rather than being focused on tangible goals and systematically crossing off my “To-Do” lists, my emphasis has shifted from “doing” to “being.”
I decided that this year was going to be the year of radically loving myself. My ongoing self-critiques and need for external validation over the past several years were dramatically impacted by my daddy's brave battle with cancer. I also learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life; the ability to love and appreciate my weaknesses just as much as I value and cherish my strengths. In the past I tried to separate the two, to separate myself from my failures and pluck out my insecurities as though none existed. My dad's challenge when I moved home put an emphasis on being instead of the constant doing that consumed me.
He also added to that magic lesson the wisdom of loving someone exactly how they need to be loved as opposed to how we want to love them. So in my several months home experiencing the necessary Life 101 boot camp alongside my father, I emerge into this new year better and stronger. I'm more me than ever and as this version, the best version of me, I found someone who not only really sees me, but truly loves me. So, I went ahead and fell in love right back.
So here I stand, with my dad on the mend, my heart held in the most safe and wonderful hands imaginable, with all my loved ones safe and happy as well as the best friends a girl could ask for. If anything, what I’ve been missing for so long was me. I was missing the whole point really. Being so focused on accomplishments and impressive accolades, we sometimes forget that we are inherently enough. I lost myself in a sea of seeking approval and it took moving home, and being still long enough for me to catch up to my own blur, to make everything clear.
Loving myself is about accepting and loving all my parts; the good, the bad and the not-so-pretty, while also having the compassion to love myself exactly as I need to be loved. All my neurotic lists still exist, I have my goals and the “rewards” I give myself to keep me on my path, but I have different motives now. I no longer need these indicators as real proof of my extraordinary existence.
I’m learning to love myself in thought and action because I deserve it, and so do you. While I’m a big fan of resolutions, remember that even with your new diet, your abstaining from chocolate, your dedication to be on time and your determination to find “the one,” that loving yourself is the lynchpin to everything else. This year is the year of magic, the unfathomable and the impossible, where anything and everything is possible. I wish you the very best new year and remember that loving yourself is key for 2013. Let this be your year, the year all your wildest dreams come true.
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