December is the worst!
December is the worst – am I right? With the end of the year approaching, my usual amount of “acceptable” stress is amplified, my inner critic goes into overdrive, and the to do lists I keep on my computer are longer than ever before.
As if this weren’t enough, I have this annoying little tendency of analyzing all the tiny successes and failures I’ve had over the last 365 days (an arbitrary number if ever there was one) and basing my opinion of myself on the outcome. Am I making more money than I did last year? Do I weigh less than I did last year? Am I doing more of what makes me happy than I was last year? … And you know what? The answers to these questions will never make me happy. I know that for a fact. I’m making more money than I was last year, I’m in better shape, and I’m spending more time doing the things I’m passionate about – but I am still stressed out. And as long as I’m stuck measuring and evaluating and expecting things of myself, I’m always going to be stressed out.
You know what would be perfect right about now? An affirmation.
If you haven’t been to a Rooted session yet, an affirmation is any kind thing you can say to yourself. Every time we meet, we take the time to journal 3 unique affirmations, and repeat them over and over, so that they can truly sink in. When I facilitate, I always add 2 affirmation caveats: it has to be something you know is true, and something you need to hear right now. Here at Rooted we want you to know yourself, to accept yourself, and to love yourself; the affirmation accomplishes all 3 of these things. And since I’m reflecting over the last 12 months of my life, I think it would be great to reflect specifically over the affirmations I’ve given myself that have particularly stuck out this year.
1.) I am strong.
This is a great affirmation. We’re all strong in so many ways that often go unnoticed. I am strong because I can keep a secret, because I can keep a commitment, because I can keep a friend, because I can keep on keepin’ on. I am strong because I can admit when I am wrong. I am strong because I can lift heavy things, and not complain that they are heavy. I am strong because I take time for me. How are you strong?
2.) What I think is important.
Possibly the most important affirmation is that you are important. When I first started doing affirmations this one stood out to me. Perhaps because it is about what I think and not me – but what are my thoughts if not mine? What I think is most certainly important, because it inspires me to act. What I think is important because the most important people will value it, even if they don’t understand it. What I think is important, and I think I’d like to take more time to figure out what I think. What you think is important too – don’t you think?
3.) I am worth loving.
After repeating this one to myself, I always end up feeling warm and fuzzy. Even if I start with a really awful feeling, I cannot deny, no matter what my faults, that I am worthy of love – that I am worth the world to someone, maybe even a couple of somebody’s, and especially myself. I am worth loving, because I love so many people. Because I am human. Because I’ve done good things. Because I am doing my best. Because I wrote you this really lovely blog post. Because, all you need is love… I forget who said that, but they were probably worth loving too!
So there you have it. After all those affirmations, it’s hard for me to remember why I was even stressed out in the first place (I will resist the temptation to scroll back to the top of this post and remind myself). I’m feeling a particular desire to take some time with myself – maybe finish a puzzle, wrap some non-denominational holiday presents, make a cup of tea (which is weird because I don’t drink tea) – so I will say goodbye to you for now. If you’re feeling a bit stressed, maybe you can take a moment to find some affirmations for yourself (it’s really easy! Just write down any kind thing you can say to yourself. Repeat as necessary.)
Whatever stresses you’re currently invested in, I do hope that they pass quickly, and above all, I wish you the very best. Have a wonderful New Year!