For those of you who are thriving through 2020, I salute you! Staying healthy, focused, attentive to your needs and the needs of others has been quite the challenge, but honestly I'm just grateful that you are here to read my thoughts. As we continue to embark on the unknowns of life, how is it even possible to maintain balance and be beautiful with it?! It can happen, literally now, totally a real thing, let me tell you...
Picture it, (in my Sophia voice), we're in NYC in 2020. The city has mandated stay at home orders and hundred of people are dying daily from COVID-19. Some of us are in disbelief, some are drowning in grief and essential workers doing what must be done. It was simultaneously the most uncertain, prayerful, faith building, goal setting, challenging, yet successful time of my life. The irony of the fact that it also felt like the most balanced time of my life is still mind blowing to me.
You all know that I am an advocate for self care and I think 2020 was the first time in my life that I actually had the opportunity to make time to care for self. I feel so incredibly blessed to have experienced it regardless of how it came to be. Forced to be at home may have led to more attention to home improvement but I have to say I honestly spent more time on my physical and mental health as that seemed to be under attack. This is exactly why self care is important. When your whole being is under attack, you have to be able to recognize it and conquer it.
No matter how difficult it can be to look inward and examine your thoughts and feelings, you must do it. Never hesitate to tap in! No one is going to rescue you from you but you. When we accept the truth that we are our own worst enemy we can begin to do the work to become our own greatest supporter. In May of 2020, I was forced to look myself in the mirror and truly see myself. I saw my past but I also saw my future and decided to take care of the present me, to prepare myself for what was ahead. There is no way you can acquire and maintain the the blessings as they fall if you don't prepare the vessel that catches them.
"And no one puts new wine in old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins ruined. But the new wine must be put into new wineskins." Mark 2:22 NKJV.
Let that sink in. I reference this scripture here for multiple reasons, the petty side of me because the Saints love to act like drinking wine is a sin, but the woman looking in the mirror realizes that she has to be renewed to experience the fullness of her blessings. Only fools rush in. Stop rushing from moment to moment without reflection and renewal. Spilling all the wine every where, cutting off your blessings and pouring into others from an empty cup. Embrace every opportunity to slow down and acknowledge yourself.
There is no one you will spend more time with than you. You have to REALLY start liking you. Many of us have mastered loving people we don't like but the experience is very different when you also like the person you love. Embrace what you see in your reflection and increase in joy with every glance. Love is an action word that gives. Give yourself grace, patience, attention, opportunity and time. Give yourself the best that you've got. We enjoy time with those we love and so you should enjoy time with yourself.
Waiting for someone to show up and make life enjoyable for you is putting your destiny is someone else's hands. This has the potential to not only go left but to also be temporary. The consistent nurturing and reflecting with self with a bubble bath thrown in allows you to learn yourself and gain insight into who you are and what you want. Beauty is an inside job. Your outer appearance is a reflection of what is happening within. We can spend thousands of dollars to create the look we want but the glow we all desire is a direct correlation to how we value self. You would never have to convince anyone that you enjoy yourself and the life you live because it would be written all over you.
I am far from lazy but let me tell you, I could indulge in self care and my own company forever, however I am well aware that I was sent with a purpose and my only option is to deliver. Everything that preceded this moment has preparing me to succeed purposefully. Balance is about a constant exchange. Holding on to your blessings and not being a blessings to others, eliminates room and opportunity for you to receive more. You're also potentially weighed down by holding on to thoughts, ideals or things that you need to rid your space of to make room for the new new.
Everybody won't be Michelle Obama but but you should definitely be the First Lady of your life. Not only would you be a shining example of how others must treat you, but you would also be equipped to be in service to others. It is impossible to spend all this time filing yourself up on love and blessings to not pursue ways to bless others. Remember, love is an action word and everyone needs it. You have an abundance of it and need to give it away to make room for more of it.
As 2021 approaches, with so many uncertainties, we can't fold when it comes to goal setting and pursuing our dreams. We are here and purposed with accomplishing more. There is a time to reflect, a time to enjoy life and a time to pursue your goals. I am an avid fan of standing still and seeing the salvation of the Lord, so I would certainly love to see how He masterfully shifts us from one year to the next. I also know that as we reflect on who we are, what we've done and how far we've come we should enjoy the growth and accomplishments and pursue better. Don't get caught up in what it looks like, instead proceed with faith and watch as everything that is yours greets you along your path.