Embrace the choices, changes and challenges in 2017. It’s that time of year again for me to reflect on what I accomplished and what needs to be improved upon going forward. It’s been three years now that I’ve incorporated the “one word” theme in my New Year short term goals. I can honestly say it’s something I’ve been able to maintain its fostered positive personal growth. I can attribute my ability to adjust to the proactive methods I’ve learned, and making sure to implement them as life happens. My desire is to continue using this mindset as I aspire to press forward, moving around the negativity as best I can and embrace what’s ahead. Monday, December 19th the word “embrace” hit me as I prepared for work. I decided to share what came as a result of me taking some time to meditate on what my one word theme will mean in my life and how to translate embrace as I move forward in 2017.
Choices~ Embrace MY choices. I learned the hard way that not everyone will understand nor approve of my life choices. The desire to have that approval is actually what use to keep me in a sad dark place for so many years. The fear of what people would say or do if I didn’t make their choice for my life. I am thankful for the day I removed that unnecessary weight off of me and began to make choices based on what makes me happy. A few years ago I read about an Australian nurse by the name of Bronnie Ware, she spent several years working with those who were dying and recorded their dying regrets. This is the number one regret she recorded: "This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it." What other people think of you doesn’t define Latrice, so I set myself free from their judgment. Stop being afraid of choosing to make YOU happy. I know that it’s difficult to choose you, especially if you habitually put others before you. I recall how I felt “selfish” and would subsequently back out of choosing what made me happy. I’ve since figured out it’s not selfish to actually live your life for you. Hell, I’m still trying to figure out why I allowed others who were not really a contributing factor to my well-being be a FACTOR in my life choices. In 2012 I resolved that I only owe consideration to my kids(to a degree) and myself. I haven’t regretted one decision I’ve made since choosing ME! In 2017 there are a few major choices on the horizon and I must persist in embracing the choices that advance me closer to my dreams.
Changes~ Embracing change can be quite unsettling especially since there is a level of fear attached to the unknown. Let’s face it being drawn out of a space you've been in for many years is going to cause some uneasiness. I’m almost sure this is why they call it a "comfort zone". I know that changes will occur as a result of the choices we make or through not making a choice which in itself is actually a choice. It’s imperative to acknowledge and accept that in changes are challenges but in the midst of your challenges you always have a choice. I’ve discovered that change isn’t always uncomfortable and can be refreshing. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy; not on fighting the old but building the new.” ~Socrates
Challenges~ There is truly only one path to become better at anything and it’s through experience and practice (mastering levels, stages or degrees). Positive and negative experiences alike. I’m not actively seeking out heartbreak, failure, illness, loneliness and loss. However when negative experiences surface unexpectedly I feel the need to learn from it and use it to my advantage the way I use the positive experiences for enrichment. In this period of my life improving the person I am is my central focus. I want to raise my children to understand that living a life that makes them happy without hurting others is the root of successful living. Their challenge won’t be in obtaining information but applying it. The application is the true work, right? I swear the minute you state what you will do and won’t do, a test prepared by fate will be administered by life to see if you are truly ready for the choices you make, the changes and challenges to come.
I’m going to embrace happiness because I realize that this is my choice, a choice I don’t plan to leave in the hands of others.
"This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again." ~ Bronnie Ware