Well, I think it’s safe to say most of us are pretty ecstatic to leave 2020 behind us. I feel like we’ve never been more divided into “us” and “them” than we became this year. We stopped listening to what one another had to say and our ignorance and selfishness has hurt us more than the COVID-19 virus ever could on its own. Many of us look toward the new year with hope.
But as much as we all want to believe that things will get better at the stroke of midnight, that isn’t how the world works. The annual celebration of one year gliding seamlessly into the next is exciting, but not magical. The real change comes from us.
This year (and always), I resolve to just be better than I was yeterday. To try to give myself grace and accept the “bad parts” that I’ve spent all of my life trying to hide. The jealousy, the anxiety, the need to be right…it’s all normal and human to feel, but it doesn’t define me and I don’t want to be ashamed of those parts anymore. This year I want to accept and even honor those feelings for what they accomplished (pushing me to become a great student and leader, keeping me safe in certain situations) but also let them know I’m safe without them, that I have grown enough to not need their protection.
We all want things to change when they’re uncomfortable, but in order for that to happen we have to be the change. We can’t rely on a president, a leader, a religion, or even a mentor or parent to do it for us. The longer we wait for others to make our lives better for us, the longer we will stay in the same damaging patterns. It’s easy to look back at a year and pretend it was just cursed; the real work is facing ourselves and letting down our armor to reveal our true identities and vulnerability and loving ourselves anyway.
I challenge you to embrace yourself this year. All of yourself. The good, the bad, the weird, the valiant. . . they all make you who you are. Love yourself and give yourself grace and watch how the world changes. If I’m wrong, the worst that can happen is you’ll have a newfound love for the beautiful person you are.