I am looking forward to 2017. My prayer for myself is that I will be expanded beyond anything I have ever allowed myself to be. I want to push my personal boundaries. I want to step outside of my comfort zones on all levels to see what lies beyond the me that I now see, that is.
This coming year, I want to look at anything that makes me uncomfortable and then do that thing. I want to look at anything that I may fear doing and then do that thing. There are things that I just don’t care for that I want to step into. I want to push pass all of these limits that I have allowed myself to live within and just do them.
It is easy to get stuck into patterns that just repeat themselves. As those grooves in those patterns grow deeper and deeper, it is easy to become deluded into thinking that you are growing when really you r just becoming comfortable and stuck in the comfort of the groove. The deeper the groove the more stuck and settled you become into a false illusion of yourself. The famous and well known quote about doing the same thing and expecting something different is insanity may be applied here. I have longed or something different but without a willingness to change, I can add myself to this list of insanity.
Longing for change is not enough. Change is an action word. There are some things that require us to just be and allow. Even with this allowing, there still is some act that takes place. Allowing just means that I remove my control over the action. It means to me that I am no longer directing it, but allowing it to take place and trusting that the necessary change will take place. The action of change takes place internally which in turn will change me outwardly. The outward change in me changes and affects everything around me.
When we allow our children to make a decision for themselves as they become young adults, there is an allowing and letting go that takes place. It may be uncomfortable but it pushes us into a place of acceptance. It brings us to a place of letting go. It allows us to change our parental thought patterns and helps us to ease into a new place of parenting or not parenting. We learn to accept the new role of now parenting a young adult versus parenting a teenager.
Letting go of the old and accepting the new can be scary. We get comfortable with the old. We don’t have to even think about it to do it. We learn those patterns so well until we can go on auto-pilot and even check out mentally and still accomplish the same results.
There are benefits to being able to function in the groove. You know it so it is easy to get it done. You can do it quickly. You don’t have to even think about it. You don’t even to have to be mentally present. It is just like taking the same route home from work every day. You don’t have to think about it. You get into your car and turn on your mental autopilot. You get home and then wonder how you got home because you cannot remember the drive itself. You wonder who drove you home because you know you weren’t present.
I don’t know how much of my life I am not present for. Sometimes I don’t know how my time was spent. I am retired now and some days are just a blur. I don’t know where time went or how I was able to spend it without true awareness. At some point, my real-self skipped out and I can’t believe the day has passed. There are some days I have nothing to show for the entire day.
This coming year, 2017, I want to change some of this. I want to be present in my life. I want to make conscious decisions to push myself outside of my comfort zones. I have to push myself to go to Wegmans and shop when the store is crowded. I am going to push myself to look at people I am passing and give them a smile without looking away, whether it is returned or not. I am going to force myself to say hello to strangers even if I don’t get a response.
I want to step outside of my comfortable box and share my peace with the world. I want to extend warmth and love out into to the world in the way that I can. We always end our service at church with “Let there be peace on Earth” and we have been ending the song for years with “and let it begin with me.” I have never asked myself before, how do I do that? It sounds great to have peace on earth, but we won’t have peace on earth until we each step outside of our comfort zone and take an action to have it. We must have a starting point. It does not mean that I am not a peaceful person because I am. I have great internal peace. But for peace on earth I must allow an action for peace to happen externally with the world.
I know these are small changes but I must take baby steps first. Going into a crowded grocery store may seem effortless to some but not for many others. Going to a concert with thousands of people pushes me into a very uncomfortable place. I shall have to see how I can push myself this coming year. I believe if I push one boundary, it will become easier to push other boundaries. As I push those uncomfortable boundaries, I will expand myself to become more than I am. I will be able to see beyond points of limitations that are in place that I know I am blind to.
I know there is more in life than what I can see right now. But if I don’t move beyond the point where I am right now, I won’t see what else is out there. I won’t know how much more of life I could experience and enjoy if I am not willing to change. So this coming year, I am going to push my own limits and see what has been just outside of my reach.