New year, new you…right?
If you’re anything like me it’s 10 days into 2017 and you’ve probably busted up a bunch of your New Year’s resolutions. To be quite honest I’ve already missed three of my goals and at this point am considering abandoning them altogether. Why not get ahead of myself you know what I mean?
With all the hopes and dreams that a new year can bring there’s also a deeper and darker side. There’s a level of melancholy that comes as we settle into the fact that another year has passed and we’re still ______.
I don’t know what your _____ is. Maybe you thought you would’ve lost the weight by now or gotten the promotion or written the book or had the kids. Maybe, just maybe, you’re still pissed that you spent yet another New Year’s Eve alone and your lips were familiarly empty when the clock struck midnight. Perhaps you thought 2016 was your year and you could’ve sworn you would be married by now.
So, now what?
Whether you’re married or single or dating or find yourself anywhere in between there are a few things we can all commit to in any of our relationships this upcoming year. In some ways, they’re harder than going to the gym every day, and in some ways, they’re easier than the unrealistic expectation that we’ll accomplish all our hopes and dreams within a single calendar year. Here are a few things I’m committing myself to in 2017:
Cultivation Over Complaining
Instead of complaining about how things aren’t going the way I expected I’m trying my best to cultivate the life I genuinely want. This is especially true when it comes to my relationships.
After moving to a new city, it’s pretty easy to feel lonely and disconnected. It’s so easy to complain about a lack of friends or a lack of real relationships and burrow into the couch for another Netflix binge.
But this year, I’m doing things differently. I’m committed to creating a life where relationships can thrive so that people feel known and loved, which means making space in my schedule, initiating conversations and gathering people together on a regular basis.
Creation Over Consumerism
I’ll be honest; I’m a pretty big consumer of almost anything. Actually, the word devour might be more appropriate. If you put a bowl of M&Ms in front of me, you’re likely to lose a limb that’s how quickly I can stuff my face.
Unfortunately the same is true in my relationships. I’m quick to consume, manipulate and use the people around me. It’s not ugly, but it’s true and it’s not a sustainable way of doing relationships. If you’re a consumer of relationships, you either realize the other person has nothing left to give you to make you feel fulfilled or you’ll drain them and they’ll very quickly leave you for a healthier place.
This year I’m focusing on creating more than I consume. I want to put more into my life and the lives of those around me than what I take away. It’s my sincere hope and prayer to focus on leaving people refreshed, renewed and encouraged rather than empty, drained and dry.
Community Over Competition
Girls are sneaky competitive. Sometimes I wish we could just play a game of pick-up basketball so we could at least be more obvious that we seriously just want to win (side note: if you and your friends do play pickup more power to you).
But I realize there’s more than enough room for all of us. There’s more than enough love and joy and success and space if we’re willing to be generous enough to give it. Community and connection can’t thrive in the midst of competition. Community is fostered in safe places where people feel most comfortable to be themselves.
I want to be more generous with my relationships this year- not necessarily generous in my time or my energy but generous in the sense of making room for people to be themselves. Humility, and therefore genuine relationships, can only happen when we realize our own limitations and are willing to let another person fill the gap.
In the musical Hamilton, Aaron Burr says it best when he says, “The world was wide enough for Hamilton and me.”
What are you committed to in your relationships this year? How will you build and grow rather than tear down? What relationships you most excited about? Where do you see yourself going?