Friday, January 04, 2008

New Year...New You?

For quite a while now, I have done so much reflecting as one year would end and another would begin. I'd pull out my journal on December 31st and write about everything that had happened, or I'd pull out my journal on January 1st and write about everything I wanted to see happen. And I can say that some of that was just for posterity, and that it was a chore in a sense. But for the most part, I really did try and reflect on things. Either last New Year's Eve or the one before, I wrote down this long list of the things I wanted to change about myself. I don't strongly recommend doing that, especially if you expect to read over that entry later and happily check each item off the list. Okay, it might work out for you, but I am personally taking a lot longer in my striving to 'become.'

It is so hard to accept that, as a Christian, I will always be striving, working and allowing God to work in me -- that I will never, as a human, be perfect and see the reflection in the mirror that I want to see. Yes, I know that I have changed over the years in some better ways, but you know how it goes: you are your very worst critic. Thankfully I am surrounded by so many examples of Christlikeness, every single day! And I confess that one of my struggles is in not letting myself feel overwhelmed and discouraged when I inevitably mess up.

My biggest faults? I'll share some of them. I find that I am easily irritated by the smallest of things, and I can't even name them all. It really just depends on my mood, and so just a tiny thing that might not be the way I want it becomes this mountain of irritation. Now, that's not so much the fault, but what is the fault is the way I react to the irritation at hand. I frequently allow that irritation to spill over, and who do you think hears about it the most? That's right -- the two guys I love more than life, Casey and Miles. And oh boy, do I ever beat myself up over hurting either one of them! Fortunately I can ask for their forgiveness and for God's, but I really do hang onto it much longer than I should.

I complain too much. I think I got into the habit of being able to talk about my physical pain with Casey, and I wouldn't so much whine about it, but I just needed to say out loud that I was hurting. And that's okay, and Casey was fine with it. But it has become a habit to the point that I am finding things to complain about since I stopped dealing with those physical problems! I think I have always been a complaining kind of person, but it has become worse this past year. And you know all those things about yourself deep down, and you can ignore it every now and then...but then someone you love tells you with love (and that is the most important part, because otherwise it's not effective) that you do this or that, and there is absolutely nowhere to hide. In my case, I am so sensitive, and so I will be hurt about it for a while. After that is over, I will do one of two things: I will just not want to even deal with it or care about it, because hey, I've tried to change that before and it is just too hard...or, I will be motivated to begin trudging up the hill of change.

I am slowly coming to accept that what I want changed in me is not going to happen overnight. I mean, it's something I always knew logically, but I was still upset when it didn't happen. Now I am able more to look at the baby steps of becoming who God sees that I can be. And today probably could not have gone any better than it did in all of that, and I know that is because I am not just relying on me to make it so. I have God giving me strength, Casey encouraging me, and Miles doing the same in his way, which means randomly squeezing my neck and planting kisses all over my face.

Back to the journaling thing. This year was the first in many years that I did not write in my journal on either New Year's Eve or Day. For one thing, I kept forgetting at various times on both days, but when I would think about it, I knew that I didn't really know what I was going to write about. I have been disappointed in myself, in my attitude as of late, and I just didn't want to write about that disappointment. And now that I am past those feelings, for the most part, I feel good just sharing a couple of my imperfections with whomever cares to read about them!

This year I want to be physically stronger and healthier. My body has been weakened by all that has happened, and I am now able to get out and exercise more often. And I know that by doing that, my overall mood will be lifted by those crazy endorphins. But emotionally and spiritually? That is where I will be striving for gentleness and self-control. I know that people think nice things about me, and they tell me these things, but I know in my heart that I am not always the 'nice' person that they see, and that is who I most want to be. I know she is in there somewhere, and I plan on getting to know her better.

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