One trend I’ve heard quite a bit this new year is in choosing a word as your year’s theme. It’s an interesting sentiment; and certainly better than making resolutions (in my mind at least). But how do you sum up your hopes for the next twelve months into one word? I can’t do it. Can you?
While working away in my basement workshop, radio blaring, I listened to a deejay share his three words. Three. That’s a little more my style. When I stand back and look at who Mickelle is at this point, there are many areas that need growth. And if I’m paying attention, I see overarching themes. I took a cue from my little dance with introspection and chose three words.
Fearless. Wise. Generous.
I’d love for each of these to describe who I am one year from now. Realistically, I think we’ll be camping here for much longer than that.
Do you choose words? Do you set goals at the dawn of a new year? Or do you make resolutions?
I’m goal driven, so the whole goal-setting gig is my bag. I’ve gotta be heading somewhere, aiming at something. January rolls around and I set my sights on targets in several chunks of my life. Spiritual. Health. Creativity. Home. Business.
And while choosing words is not at all the same as setting goals, I think they’re very much related.
Setting goals- that’s easy. Seeing them to completion… not so much. When I analyze my failures, noticeable trends pop up. It’s sickening just how often I sabotage my own efforts- both knowingly, and not. And fear is usually the culprit. Fear and I have spent a lot of time together. Most of my years, in fact. Fear has guided my decisions, my relationships, my dreams, and played a huge role in my health.
“Fear’s been your companion.” My dearest friend saw it and called out the truth. It’s been a constant in my life. Strangely comfortable. Reliable. Imprisoning; but with boundaries I knew and could understand.
So now, I’ve broken up with fear. We’re no longer, you know, together. And can I tell you something? The thought of living fearlessly- without those towering walls, the whispers in my mind, the premature defeats, the safety of it all- well…
Ironic, isn’t it?
Old habits die hard, I know. It’s going to take focus and energy to really rid myself of fear. But I’m excited when I think about the woman on the outside of that cocoon. Bright wings, and flying.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God...” Well, I’m asking.
Fear and wisdom have competed for an audience with me, and for the most part, you already know who’s won out. As I ramp things up here at Lost Upon A Time, I’m confronted with the gazillions of decisions there are to running a business. And most of them sit squarely out of my realm of competence. Look, I just want to make stuff.
Having listened to Fear for so long, I’m not very familiar with the sound of Wisdom’s voice. The book of Proverbs says she (yes, she) calls out in the streets. I must’ve walked right past her a thousand times. Now, I’m hoping we can sit down for tea and talk things over. I want to hear everything she has to say.
This one’s a stretch. My Prince Charming could tell you about how I do generous. Rather, how I don’t.
I’ve never really had to share much. And Fear has always told me to hold onto as much as I could -whether it’s time and energy or food and money. Hey- I’ll need it later, right? Not to mention that I so often haven’t had much to share anyway- because I was making stupid decisions in the first place.
See how this is all connected?
Generous to me is giving freely of myself. Not thinking I’m more important, or more in need. It’s listening when wisdom tells me there’s an opportunity to give. And muting Fear when it says I’ll regret it. Generosity is at the core of my faith. I read of a God who provides abundantly. Who lavishes forgiveness, unyielding. A God who gives good gifts, created beauty and life, and sustains us all. Generosity, by God’s design, is tangible and intangible. But it flows from the heart.
To live otherwise makes me a hypocrite in the worst way.
Come to think of it, to live bound by Fear makes me a hypocrite. I read over and over in scripture, “Do not be afraid“. I’m told I’ve “not been given a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind.” So, where’d I pick this thing up, then? It wasn’t given to me. I don’t need it.
Ignoring wisdom is to ignore the Source of wisdom. That’s not such a smart move, in my book. (Haha! See what I did there?)
Below is my new favorite anthem. Well, one of my favorites. (I can be heard belting this one out loudly while vacuuming or painting boards.)
So, friends. Here’s to a year of fearlessness! Of wise moves. And generous living.
I’m curious, though. If you could choose three words, or even one, for this new year, what would you choose? Why?