“You can ask for forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self.” — Maya Angelou
Is it strange to admit that in the first month of the year? January is usually a time for renewals, resolutions, and do-overs; yet, here I am admitting my secret shame.
I am overly critical and judgmental … of myself.
So why am I telling you this? I recently learned about the One Word 365 Challenge. The goal is simple, ditch the New Year’s resolution list and focus on one word that will define your year.
Trust me, by the end of January two years ago I had already forgotten my resolutions. Last year, I focused on what made me happy. This year, I’m continuing more of the same, but I love the idea of focusing on one word.
I wanted to choose a word that I thought would move me as far away from perfection and the unattainable ideal of womanhood that I created for myself.
I’m a recovering superwoman.
I mulled it over this for a few days, and wrote several words hoping to narrow the list down to my top five, then four, then three.
I landed on brave, mercy, and grace.
I chose brave because just saying the word brave makes me feel empowered.
Try it: Say brave a few times. (Joshua 1:9)
And because I tend to be so hard on myself, I wanted to make sure that I give myself the mercy and grace I would show another. Mercy and grace somehow just goes together. (Hebrew 4:16)
And THEN I thought some more… and realized that it’s really about learning to accept myself just as I am – flaws and all. (Song of Solomon 4:7)
I became still in my thoughts, and was led to self-acceptance. I read in Psalm 139:14 where it said:
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
I get it.
Being brave and showing myself mercy and grace is giving self love.
When we choose to talk, walk, and act in a manner that honors us we practice self-acceptance.
This circumvents any harsh criticism… be it from us… or from the world.
So that’s what I’m working on this year, self-acceptance. When I do this, I then honor my husband, nurture my children, and show up as the good friend.
What about you? Are there things that you have learned to come to grips with for yourself? Do you completely accept yourself? If you haven’t … what are you working on? If you have, tell me about your aha moment.
What word would you choose?