2010 was to be the year of no resolutions. I've never actually been able to keep a resolution and I read about an idea I liked much more instead. One Word. At the beginning of January some of my favorite bloggers (like this one and this one) were writing about an idea that's been gaining a lot of popularity. You are supposed to chose one word to define the upcoming year for yourself. Something to focus on, help you to make your life more purposeful, something easy to bring to your mind in a moment of chaos. I just loved this idea. I spent weeks trying to decide on my word. I read about lots of other people's choices for inspiration. I wanted to make sure that my word was going to help me make decisions, make me a better mom and a better person, keep me calm and centered. (That's a lot to demand of one word!)
After much thought and deliberation I decided on the word shine. It was perfect. If I was going to shine I would be the best version of myself. What could be better than letting the best part of me shine through in every situation? I was very excited. 2010... my year to shine.
...Then it started. Let's just say, thus far, 2010 and I aren't getting along so well. There has been a lot of stress and anxiety. I've been worried about one of my children and unsure what to do about it. January was the kind of month where it seemed that every single decision I made was the wrong one... and the stakes are too high for mistakes (or, at least, that's how it seems).
So, in my state of utter panic, I have felt less than shiny. I've been distracted and impatient. I haven't been present or sleeping. It hasn't been pretty. (It's a shame that for once I did not resolve to lose weight. I may have actually kept that resolution this year... the "anxiety diet" is proving very effective.) Through all this I did keep going back to my one word. However, instead of inspiring me it was mocking me.
When I chose this word I was inspired by scripture "Let your works so shine before men, that they may see your good works..." (Matthew 5:16) and famous leaders "When you let your own light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same..." (Nelson Mandela). Truly inspiring. Let me tell you, I have not let others see my good works, or inspired anyone to do anything.
Then last week, things suddenly became clear to me. Fearing something I have no control over is never going to solve a problem. BUT facing fears, head on, and dealing with whatever situation God puts in front of me might be exactly what my child needs me to do.
Kirsten cries her eyes out during movies (all movies. We've had to leave the theatre more times then I can count). I always tell her "there has to be a sad part to make the happy part happier". Last week I reminded myself of these wise words. How liberating. I can't tell you how freeing it was to stop trying to find a bright side... stop trying to fix everything. I accepted that what we were going through was one of the "sad parts". I have complete faith that the happy part is coming. I really do... so what is there to worry about? As soon as I came to terms with this I found myself more present and focused on being the mother my child needs me to be right now... shiny or not.
Ironically I also heard the song "Shine On" by Eric Bibb last week. It's amazing what we hear when we are listening sometimes isn't it? This is my new favorite song. I love the lyrics. LOVE THEM. The idea behind the song is that when you think the task in front of you is insurmountable that is exactly when you need to "shine on".
"Keep your eyes on the mountaintop. One step at a time don't ever, ever stop"
The lyric "You're a diamond to me" actually brings tears to my eyes. Who else do want to shine for? My children (and family in general) are my world. Aren't they the one's I want to shine for? Isn't that the kind of mother I want to be? The kind I am (if I admit it to myself)? I will never quit trying to help my children. I will never, ever give up. I will never, ever stop. So maybe that's how I shine. Maybe doing the hard stuff is shining on... maybe this is the ultimate gift, that I get to be this person (this "diamond") for my child...
2010 is looking better already.
(On a technical note, I have spent almost 2 hours trying to load the song "Shine On" to this site... I am a little frustrated at the moment but I'm going to let it go :) I highly suggest you google "Shine On" by Eric Bibb... or comment if you have tips on how to add it to my playlist ** I've already bought it through Amazon and Itunes... UGH!)