Three words to live by in 2014.
I am Joyful, I am Lovable, I am Courageous, and God has BIG plans for me.
JOY. A synonym with happy, elated, joyful, delight, pleasure, enjoyment, bliss, elation. Rhymes with boy, toy, soy, coy, enjoy, destroy. Perhaps it makes you think of Christmas. Sharp-needled evergreens and red ornaments. The shining star on top of the tree. Joy is a three-letter word, seemingly simple enough. I chose it as my first word, off the top of my tongue, immediately, when presented with the task. Maybe because it’s my middle name, a family name. But rather, why does “finding Joy” seem like such a challenge that I decided for it to be one of my three main areas of focus in 2014?
Being present in the moment has never been one of my strengths. If you lived inside my head you would know that it spins at 100 miles per hour, up and down hills, around twisted turnpikes, through dark, narrow tunnels, and can spiral out of control in milliseconds. Simply put, I’m emotional and wear my feelings on my sleeves. I also have a passion for others and desire for the next challenge. Therefore, I’m all over the place. This makes “finding joy” during an event, with friends, in my career, financially, with my personal appearance and in conversation with others, a challenge. Not only does it mean finding presence and gratefulness for the moment in which I exist, it also means sharing that “moment” and that Joy with others.
Spreading Joy. Like dandelions over the grassy field, like a bee transfers pollen, from the touch of a warm hand to another. Joy can be contagious if you choose to share it. Not only do I want to be joyful but I want to be known for sharing Joy, for sharing that feeling of presence in one another’s space.
LOVE. What is true love? What is a loving, nurturing relationship? Does love exist on it’s own, or can it only exist between two people? Am I loving? Am I loved? I could look up hundreds of verses about Love in the Bible, searching for answers through sentences and stories and Jesus’ word. However, reading about Love is not the same as feeling Loved. When you have so much love you desire to share with another person and it becomes rejected or false, it puts a bad taste in your mouth about love. My greatest challenge this year is in knowing that I will continue to share Love even when I feel unloved.
I really don’t know what else to say about this word because it gets rather mushy. Instead, we can focus on loving ourselves, not in a conceited way but in a way that allows us to honor ourselves and our values. Letting someone else love you can leave you feeling shattered pretty easily, but if you first and foremost have Love for yourself and the One who created you, you will be reassured that Love is worth it.
COURAGE. You are courageous, You are victorious, You are a Champion! For the greatest fear lies not in taking the first step but rather having the courage to do so. This year has certainly required moments, hours, days, and weeks of great courage. Although I had no idea the plans that were laid out for me, my gut was telling me this was going to be a year that required tremendous courage. What dreams have you been thinking about for years? What have you wanted to say that was never spoke? What vision have you been keeping to yourself? I believe fear is the opposite of courage and the two cannot exist in the same place. Having courage requires a backbone, a strong family foundation, supportive friendships, long-developed skills, and a boldness to take action! Courage itself does not exist; it is an action verb. Courage will be sure to further develop and express your true character.
What words are you living by? What three words can be the pillars for your next week, next obstacle, or next year? Having three words to focus on is much easier than setting strict resolutions just to follow the status quo on January 1. In a recent conversation about my three words, I found it interesting to reflect and see how far I’ve come in nine months. Now, I look forward to seeing how these three words play out in the last three months of 2014. Stay tuned…