Happy Holidays and New Year to you all. It has been a lovely, and much needed, break from school and work for my family and I hope that whatever this season has held for you, that it has been somewhat wonderful. It’s so easy to be distracted and disappointed in our daily slog – so easy to wish for something different and to jealously browse our friend’s perfectly projected lives and believe they live a more enchanted and fulfilling life than our own. I challenge you to instead be grateful in your own life this year as I attempt to be grateful in mine. We can hold each other accountable, ok? I know that I personally find it much easier to complain about the little things in my daily life rather than be thankful and happy about the other little and often big things. It feels like insecurity – as though I should not be happy for it would be an apathetic and immodest emotion to convey lest I be speaking to someone who does not share in my excitement of life. Shall we attempt to be comfortable in our own skin as a resolution?
I resolve to be like Eustace (of Lewis’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader), to allow the dragon hide to be peeled away and to become comfortable in my own skin. Brave even and ready to redirect my understanding of self in order to better understand the world and the people with whom I live.
Things I will remember:
- Eustace was a dragon for a good long time before he came to recognize his strengths and weaknesses and to face them rather than hide or become defensive. I will not be too hard on myself when I fall back into old patterns, but attempt to simply pick up again and move toward thankfulness.
- It takes practice to become good at anything – practice to improve, to learn, to grow. I love what my 8 year old always says (sayings which I give full credit to her teacher, but may steal for my own classroom): “Practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes Progress” – that is all I can hope for I think – progress toward what I hope to be, what I hope to become.
- Peeling away skin – especially dragon skin – was not possible without the help of a divine Lion. I am not an island unto myself – I must be willing to seek support of friends, family, and to look for guidance and grace from God in order to change anything in my daily habits.
What does it look like, in daily action, to be resolutely comfortable in my own skin? To me, I think it just means actively looking for things for which to be thankful and happy rather than complaining. It means that I stop apologizing for being me, for having my thoughts and feelings; and instead I choose to just be me.
Perhaps you already are comfortable in your own skin, perhaps you are more often happy and thankful than complaining and wishing to be different – tell me your secrets!
GK Chesterton, in his book Orthodoxy, claims that “the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. Taken semi out of context, but meaningful nonetheless, I think that I have become this “modern revolutionist”, an infinite skeptic who constantly questions my own choices, my life in general. By doing this, I undermine my own good intentions and create a space in which I no longer feel that I’ve done any good and have furthermore highlighted for all of my peers the insecurities I recognize and perhaps they too will now call in to question my intentions. I want to attempt to bury the skeptic in happiness, so much so that any real call for skepticism will first be perceived with a loving heart and a willingness to negotiate..
I realize that this post has possibly a more casual tone, but I’d like to recognize that by typing to the world at large through this digital voice that I know I am being received by other people. Real people, in their homes, or jobs, or on their cell phones in their cars. I tend to read blog posts and consider the author a detached voice – someone far superior to little-old-me the reader, and I’d just like to say, that in this case (and probably if you’re reading this, you already know it), there is no superiority no writer/reader hierarchy- we all carry the condition of humanity and all the brokenness and beauty it entails.
What are your resolutions?