02 January 2014

The Power of a Word: Defining 2014



Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.
~ Rudyard Kipling

Beginning in January and continuing throughout the year, I’m participating in the One Page a Day writing challenge.


E
ach year, for as long as I can remember, I’ve chosen a word that would help shape and define the new year.  Sometimes, it’s been two words.  Last year, I didn’t choose one.

Perhaps that is why so much of 2013 I felt lost and uncentered.

But I have 365 (well, 364 now) brand new days to unwrap and enjoy to the fullest.  And so, yesterday, I chose a new word.   

Flexibility.

Our expectations tend to be impossibly high ~ for others, but most especially for ourselves.  And when we or our loved ones fail to live up to those expectations (some which are never even spoken aloud!), many of us become angry, frustrated, disappointed, even depressed. Some of us give up, thinking that it isn’t worth it to try, since we are bound to fail anyway.

It’s a twisted kind of pride, actually.

Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off
Because the truth is, no one is perfect.  Everyone fails.  But the great thing is, it’s temporary.  There are always triumphs and successes as well as failures.  Instead of beating ourselves up about our failures, we should learn from them, tweak what we were doing, and try again.

And in the process, we need to remember to be kind.  To others and to ourselves.

I was queen of emotional and verbal self-flagellation.  No matter what happened, no matter who may have been involved, I always blamed myself.  Negative self-talk and phrases such as “you always do that,” “you are so selfish and stupid,” and countless others, would swirl around my brain like a noxious, amorphous cloud.

It was like being swept up in a tornado of worthless thoughts ~ a monster of my own making ~ with a little help from other dysfunctional people.

I say “was” because this year, I am determined to make a fresh start.  To banish those hateful words and phrases from my mind and my heart and my conversation.  To become instead, the queen of flexibility.

To be flexible is to be laid back.
To be flexible is to be kind.
To be flexible is to be understanding.
To be flexible is to let go.

Start All Over Again
I had a chance to put this mantra into practice yesterday.  My plan was to juice and start my detox.  My first mistake was turning down breakfast and when I told the person why, she said, “How long are you going to do that?  You know you’ll just fail and go back to eating junk again.  What’s the point?”

Le sigh.

I rolled my eyes, ignored her, and then later, proceeded to prove her right by eating the most wretched food known to man.

I could almost hear Monsanto rubbing their collective hands in evil glee.

But I had already chosen my word for the year.  And when I journaled later, I reflected that it was okay to start my detox on January 2nd.  That I had no one to please or answer to but myself.  And that I could choose to allow this one false start to ruin and impact the entire race.

I chose flexibility.
I chose understanding.
I chose kindness.
I chose to let go.
I chose to be laid back, and say oh well, and get myself into position to win this morning.

It’s going to be a great, flexible, year.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Do you choose a word to help you define the year?  What is your word for 2014?

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