Thought for the Week:
“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.”
Question for the Week:
Are you willing to do something different in 2022?
I won’t belabor the point that the last couple of years have been hard. As a therapist, I can definitely attest to the fact that there is a mental health crisis currently upon us as many people, if not most, are struggling to manage increased symptoms of anxiety and depression. COVID-19 has more of us isolated at home, lonely, and disheartened. Yet, we opt to spend much of that time on our social media pages which feeds our fears and plays on our hidden insecurities, depleting our sense of self worth. Like Me On Fakebook
Everyone seems to be closing in on themselves and we’re starting to get more comfortable with cyber relating as opposed to real world connection. In short, folks are scared and tired of this bleak reality. We’d rather just live as a “brand or a “profile” instead of facing it all by living as an authentic human being. This detachment from ourselves leads us to covet the well-filtered lives of our “friends” and followers, and we assume that everyone else has it figured out when, in fact, a lot of folks are just as lost. You can only watch Don Lemon whine on CNN so many times before you really start to wonder if the world might actually be coming to an end. Sometimes, it truly does feel like Armageddon has arrived as people get more violent, divisive and hateful, less able to relate to one another, more jealous, more greedy, more lazy, more easily influenced by foolishness, and too “woke” for their own doggone good.
However, as long as we have breath in our body, and even a mustard seed’s worth of faith, it ain’t over. A New Life’s Resolution Perhaps if we just stopped looking to other people, images, ideas, and opinions to define our sense of self, we could get back in touch with the internal power we all possess to transform our own lives. Pandemic or not, change is still possible because we’re still here and God is still real. So, here are a few things we can all commit to NOT doing in 2022 to protect our hopes and future.
In 2022, what we NOT gone do is…
I guess I’m much like a lot of people in that I’m not one to follow hard and fast religious rules, but don’t ever get it twisted. I’m never going to be too woke for Jesus or to acknowledge and worship God as the inspiration and sustainer of my life. The pandemic has kept many of us at home and away from our places of worship. Truthfully, I quite enjoy being able to sing along with the choir and fry bacon simultaneously, but church being optional should never equate to God being optional. The advancements of technology and modern medicine are wonderful, but it also gives us humans a false sense of control. Yes, we have power, but that power has been given and enabled by something much bigger than ourselves. Until people can create life, stop death, and live eternally, I’m going to have to concede that there is a higher power that has the final say. In 2022, let’s do better about respecting that fact, adhering to that power’s direction, and seeking guidance from the great I AM, the only one with total control.
Entertain Naysayers and Defer Dreams
Look, if Armageddon actually is on the horizon, do any of us really have time to listen to the peanut gallery when it comes to the decisions we’ll make or the dreams we’ll pursue? I don’t know about you, but if the world is about to burst into flames, I would at least like to check a few things off my bucket list. I’m no longer willing to wait for approval or validation from stagnant people and will move forward regardless. I recommend we all do the same. Our social media saturated society has got everybody believing that their opinion matters more than it really does. Worse yet, we’re conditioned to care about who “likes” our choices. We judge whether our lives are going well by how many hearts and ‘thumbs up’ we get on our status updates. It’s really sad how much we rely on outside approval to do what’s best for ourselves. Go Ahead and Free Yourself! But in 2022, forget the haters and naysayers, stand for what you want, protect your dreams, and just go for broke! Nobody has it figured out and if anyone tries to stop you with doubt, it’s because they don’t know a better way to move forward or to get there faster than you. Just do it! In the face of COVID, “tomorrow isn’t promised” might be much more than a cliche’.
Whether it’s unhealthy relationships with narcissistic and manipulative people, life-sucking jobs with unappreciative employers who devalue you, or self-sabotaging habits that rob you of your full potential, just know that you can always make a different decision. You don’t have to settle. You don’t have to excuse bad behavior and write off how people hurt you by saying “that’s just how they are.” You don’t have to bite your tongue and swallow your pride. You don’t have to deny your true feelings for the sake of keeping peace and you don’t owe people parts of yourself that you can’t afford to lose! If a situation takes more from you than it gives, let it go. If a circumstance makes you worse and not better, let it go. If a relationship robs you of your joy and your voice, let it go. If there is no room for you to express your honest feelings or to be your authentic self, let it go! Nothing that is right for you should result in the sacrifice of your health, wholeness, dreams, or hope. You don’t have to accept the cancers in your life and continue to be plagued by the emotional sickness they cause. Cut them out, eradicate all remnants left behind, and move forward whole and healed.
Neglect our Physical and Mental Health
In 2022, we will take care of the mind and body we were given. We won’t engage in unhealthy behaviors that will result in limitations to our activity, functioning, and potential. We will be mindful of how we fuel our bodies and move enough to keep our heart pumping and bodies strong enough to do the work that is before us. We’ll drink water, sleep, and get sun which are all natural ways to minimize symptoms of anxiety and depression. And we will take the medications we’re prescribed, get the vaccinations that we need, and protect our temples consistently whether by wearing masks or condemns consistently. And sisters, we will not let stigma and faulty beliefs from generations past keep us from tending to our mental health. Sick in the Head If we are struggling, we will seek therapy and be willing to confront the unhealed traumas that keep us stuck. Full stop. You Can Run, but You Can’t Hide
As we prepare to attack this new opportunity called 2022, just know that success, healing, and prosperity is not just contingent upon what you want to do, but it also very much depends upon what you’ll no longer do to get in your own way. Let’s do this ladies! Happy New Year.
Scripture of the Week:
“For I know the plans that have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”