Every year I list out a minimum of twelve ‘promises to myself’. Intentions are meant to be broken but promises are always something I feel I must keep. Even so, throughout the year, life runs away with me, outside factors affect plans and not all promises are kept; at least, not to the extent that I had originally intended. This year, as a result, I have made a list of three things with which I want to walk through 2018:
Love, Faith and Gratitude.
During quite an emotional period a few years ago, my sister sent me a three-minute clip from one of Oprah Winfrey’s Life Classes (click here to be redirected to the clip). I was reluctant to watch it at first but now, years later, I confess I’ve seen it more often than I’m sure my sister had anticipated. In it Bishop T.D. Jakes discusses the idea that the reason we may feel as though we don’t receive enough love and support from family and friends is because while we have a ten-gallon capacity to love, we may have surrounded ourselves by people with only a pint-size capacity. So, although they sincerely could be giving you all the love they have, it won’t fill us up.
My family and my closest friends are ten-gallon people. They love so deeply that I’m always so surprised their reservoirs haven’t dried up. What I’ve discovered the past year is that it’s me that doesn’t allow myself to be loved. I feel undeserving of it. And as a person who wants to shower everyone with love every single day, giving when I have nothing to give, that’s a problem. The reasons behind this are not relevant at this juncture, but I know they are there and the start of a new year is the perfect time to rectify it. I am ten-gallon person. I love deeply. It’s time to learn to love myself and open myself up to receiving love in return.
When you look up the word ‘faith’, two definitions appear. One is a strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, and the other is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. I’ve never considered myself to be a religious person, but I am spiritual. I believe in a higher power. I believe that the big moments in our lives are prewritten. I believe that the power of self is stronger than we realise and that nazar (the ‘evil eye’) is real.
2018 is the year to tap into that faith. To remember, however cliché, that what is meant to be will be and that it is all happening for a reason. That none of us are wholly in control and that we would be happier if we let go the fallacy of control and just accept what is given to us. Remembering this helps us to accept the bad days that come to all and stops us catastrophizing them. It’s also the time to have faith in ourselves. In particular, to accept that the effort put in will be rewarded eventually, and that you can do anything you set your mind to. As Napoleon Hill once said, “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
At the end of 2016, I wrote an entire blog post dedicated to the art of gratitude (click here to be redirected to the post). Science has proven that those who regularly practice gratitude lived happier, more fulfilling lives and I wanted to be part of that. I made a conscious decision to be more grateful and I’m so happy to say that I’ve been practicing gratitude ever since. Even so, I find it rather difficult at times. Every night I write down three things I am grateful for that day, and I find a lot of the time it’s for an actor or a film or a novel that has been part of my day somehow. I’m positive that this November and December’s gratitude has had some reference to Peaky Blinders at least once a week.
As a Christmas present to myself, I bought myself two books: Dawn French’s Me. You. A Diary and Fearne Cotton’s Happy. The Journal in order to trigger thoughts that will help me be more grateful in 2018 and to look at my life in different ways. After all, a change of perspective makes an incredible difference in life. Remember that it’s not just the things that you have done (watching that amazing episode of Peaky Blinders, for instance) that are worth being grateful for, it’s the little things and the things we take for granted too (like the fact that you have the ability to see which allows you to enjoy that episode so much).
And so, it is with love, faith and gratitude that I leave 2017 and step into 2018: a happier, more beautiful period in my life and in yours too.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!