Why Worry?

When it comes to the landscape of my mind, worries grow like weeds. Ridding my thoughts of fear, doubt, or anxiety does not come easily for me. I’ve always had a tendency to entertain worry. It was my first imaginary … Continue reading

In the Moment

I recently spent a week vacationing in Maine. For the most part, it was extremely restorative and relaxing. I slept as late as I wanted to. I made tremendous progress in my book of crossword puzzles. I took deep breaths … Continue reading

Hopes & Dreams

I’ve been thinking about this lately: I believe in God, but do I trust Him with my dreams? Can I find more reasons for faith than for doubt? Do I really believe He cares about what I want and won’t take my hopes and dreams away from me—or turn them against me? And if I get that far, can I trust myself? Will I take the steps and leaps of faith required to put myself where I need and want to be? And what about patience? Am I able and willing to wait? Sometimes pursuing a dream feels like doing nothing—or like throwing efforts into an abyss.

I want to be content and ambitious. I want to have my dreams for the future, but without letting them obscure or invalidate how my life looks at the moment. I don’t want “right now” to feel like a letdown in light of my hopes and dreams for tomorrow. I want to be happy with today while looking forward to the future. I don’t want to be so focused on where I want to go in life that I overlook the journey.

Let me not shy away from success or be overburdened by failures. Life will have its challenges—its hard parts—its seasons of darkness. There will be times when my dreams feel foolish and my hopes seem hopeless. But there will also be triumphs and celebrations.

It can be frightening to dream because not all dreams come true. Some dreams fade until they’re forgotten, while others are willfully put aside. But some dreams defy the dreamer—refusing to materialize while also declining to die. Even though dreaming can be difficult, I don’t ever want to stop. I never want to run out of dreams or faith or hope.

Fear, Judgment, and Envy

There are parts of myself that I’d like to abandon—pieces of me I hope will wither up, detach, and die like that extra bit of umbilical cord on a newborn child. I want to put as much space and time between these parts of myself as possible—distance myself from them by as great a margin as I can muster.

Fear: I don’t want to waste undue or unwarranted amounts of time fearing the imagined or hypothetical. I don’t want to fashion shackles of inaction for myself out of trepidation and worry. Fear has stilled my tongue when I should have spoken up. Fear has rendered me inert when I should have been reacting, acting, or moving forward. Fear has partnered with doubts to plant stifling insecurities. It has expanded to occupy too great a portion of what I can imagine or foresee. I want my counterproductive fears uprooted—ripped from my life like weeds and burned to nothing.

Judgment: I too often and too comfortably recline in a position of judgment over others. It is a sinister and counterproductive approach to self-soothing or feeling better about myself that I excessively engage in. Who am I to stand in approval or disapproval of any person, action, inaction, or life? It is contrary to love for me to judge—especially since I almost never have the whole story. Given more information, I tend to find that everyone—even those who appear to be failing—are doing the best they can with the resources they have. I want to take my judgmental tendencies, coat them in cement until they can’t float, and sink them.

Envy: What a caustic poison. What a self-destructive emotion. To look at what another person has (or has accomplished) with jealousy or resentment is self-defeating and futile. When I indulge envy, I act as though an increase in someone else’s good requires a proportional decrease in my own. Jealousy demands that I blind myself to the fullness of another person’s life—which includes joy and pain, successes and failures, peaks and dark valleys. If my dreams come true for someone else, I should feel more motivated, not sorrowful. At its core, envy is at its worst a lie and at its best an illusion. Another’s gain does not necessitate my lack. I want to smother envy in its sick bed. I want it to suffocate until it’s dead and lets go—no longer able to hold me back or down.

I want to enter 2014 open to opportunity. I want to live and love honestly—able to see people as they truly are without judgment or jealousy.

I want to enter the upcoming year with hope and faith in good things. I don’t want to allow the pessimistic side of my imagination to grow too big.

I want to live instead of just being alive. I want to act on my own behalf, move forward with confidence, and thrive. I want to be fully and honestly myself in all situations—not overly censored, apologetic, or deferential. I want to speak the truth rather than just saying what is easy to hear or expected.

I don’t want to get lost in a digital quicksand that pulls me down and away from authentic and meaningful connections. I want to look people in the face and have evocative conversations. I want to invest in friendships that go deeper than Facebook. I don’t want to just “check in;” I want to be fully present.

I will not proclaim these New Year’s resolutions. I have no faith in the practice. But when I think about what I’d like to see left behind in this year and the manners in which I’d like to grow in the next, theses are the things I will work to embrace or let go…starting today, starting now.