January 1st inevitably brings discussions about how we can better ourselves for the upcoming year. Loose weight. Quit smoking. Stop eating sweets. Go to the gym more. These are all great goals, but I want to make sure that we do not forget that change comes from the inside out.
This year, instead of focusing on ways we can improve our outside, we need to focus on strengthening our inside. My life long struggle with anxiety has taught me that if my mind is focused on negativity and fear, my outer-self will reflect those thoughts.
I have wasted MANY years praying for God to take away my anxiety. I desperately wanted to be “normal,” and not struggle with fear of everyday activities others seemed to have no issue with completing. I longed to be able to wake up in the morning without my chest tightening at the thought of getting out of bed. I wanted to sit in the middle of a U shaped booth without having a panic attack. These thoughts and wishes are all very valid, however, they were not helping me on my path towards healing.
During 2015, God taught me that I must first accept my anxiety before I can live my life in peace. That peace does not mean that I will no longer have anxiety. This type of peace is centered around understanding that I will have anxiety for the rest of my life, but (and here is the key) it’s ok. It is apart of who I am. Does it suck? Absolutely. Does it make me any less of a person? No. In fact, I have written many posts about how anxiety has made me a stronger than I ever could have been without it.
Over the years, I have learned techniques to cope with my existing anxiety such as yoga, journaling/blogging, daily bible study, and medication. These strategies have not eliminated my anxiety, but they have helped me gain back control of my life. Anxiety no longer controls me.
This year, as my New Year’s resolution, I am going to work on loving myself – just as I am. Anxiety and all. I am not going to put myself down or try and wish away any of my faults. I am going to work accepting myself and seeing myself as the beautiful creation I was made to be.
I encourage all of you who struggle with self acceptance, to work on the same resolution. You are perfect! Just as you are. Flaws and all. It is what makes you who you are, and who you are is wonderful.
Happy New Year, and may 2016 bring you happiness.