2022 is over and I’ve honestly never been so glad for a year to end. My theme of the year is to Count it All Joy. To do that, I knew that once the new year started I needed to make some changes.

After a year of chaos and some out of character behavior I decided that I needed to make some changes in my life; 3 in particular: remove alcohol and replace it with a healthier diet (specifically more cooking), watch less television and replace it with more reading, and create boundaries within my relationships and my church.

“Busyness is an illness of spirit.”

EUGENE PETERSON 

In creating boundaries with my co-dependencies and eliminating things I used to self-medicate I was left with the only thing I had left, myself. I had neglected myself for so long that I didn’t know where to start. I first had to come to terms with my role in my own unhappiness. I am a person who thrives off being busy. But as 2022 went on I found that I would continuously sacrifice my own well being for anyone or anything because I felt that was what I was supposed to do. I had recovered from a serious illness and felt I had to give my all prove that I deserved to still be alive. But in the end I realized busyness was killing me.

I knew a purge needed to occur. It was uncomfortable for the first few days, distressing even. I had to figure out what it looked like to spend time with myself without numbing myself. I found that I had to sit with pain. I learned that it’s often the hard things that keeps me from actually knowing me. There has been many tears because I just had to start letting go. Letting go of how I thought my life was supposed to be and letting go of the anger of what I’ve had to go through. I then had to create space to process the trials that I was still enduring.

Now as the month is coming to an end, I still feel exhausted but I am surprised at how content I am becoming. Life is still with its challenges but I feel lighter and the darkness doesn’t feel as potent. I’m still busy but I’m actively reshuffling my life and taking ownership over my own decisions and it’s been so liberating. In this season, I’ve found that optimism has been a source of stability for me through gratitude.

“My optimism is fueled by my gratitude and with gratitude, optimism is sustainable.” -Michael J. Fox

I’d add to that quote that acceptance is the key that unlocks gratitude. I’ve learned that until I can accept my life for what it is, I cannot truly find gratitude for the life that I have. I’ve chosen to let go of the idea of the perfect life. I’ve chosen to let go of counting on people to show up in the way I would show up for them. I’ve chosen to have agency over my own life and it’s made me accept my own reality. God has given me so much grace as I’ve been on this path and I’m excited to get to a beautiful place of joy.

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