I want to start by wishing everyone a happy new year and to also thank you for your support over the last year. My journey and growth has all been possible because of your support – thank you very much and I am excited for all that is ahead as we journey together. Talking about the journey ahead, I am sure many of us have resolutions we have set for ourselves this 2022 – and that is great because I am all for growth. Whatever your resolutions are, they are important to you and I am sure many of us would start this year determined to see these resolutions through. However, life does not always go as planned and we sometimes abandon our resolutions before the end of the first quarter of the year. Over the years, I have seen many people, myself included, fight to continue with whatever goal we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. And while I am all up for determination and seeing things through, over the last couple of years, I have learnt to be flexible and change plans and goals when the old ones no longer serve me.
I was talking to a friend this week and I told her that my resolution this year is to choose me and seek peace in all I do – she gasped and confirmed that those were her resolutions too. I must admit this friend and I have so much in common, when we first met, I was convinced we had been separated at birth – lol. So this was another moment when we had both made decisions that were similar and we laughed about it. When you break down what we both want, they branch off into different goals but the overall aim is to grow as individuals and find peace in all we do. We all will agree that 2020 and 2021 have been very challenging for the whole world – and for me, so many changes happened these couple of years and I had been in change mode through out. One thing I have come to notice is that in extreme growth moments, there are several battles we wage as individuals – for me, my battles were mostly with my old self and moving on from the person I had been for all those years and then with belief systems that no longer held true for me. As I went through these changes and started setting boundaries for myself, I had different battles to fight – changing my circle and ending relationships I was holding onto that no longer served any purpose in my life. So these couple of years had been tough – almost everyday, I had to unearth a part of me that needed changing or rethinking and it’d been challenging as well as exciting.
So choosing me, this new and still evolving me, is what I want to focus on this year – to remove myself from any negative situation I can avoid, so I can preserve my peace. I had my first test on new year’s day when someone I had not heard from in years got in touch and started playing the same games they had always played – however, things were different this time around because my response had changed. I could now see clearly how the actions of this person could have easily disrupted my peace – but being consciously aware of what I wanted for myself helped me to respond in a way that was best for me. So with this situation in mind, I wanted to use today’s post to share some of the things I would be doing this year to promote my growth and promote peace in my life;
Set and reinforce your boundaries – I cannot emphasise this enough! Set values for your life and enforce them by ensuring that people in your life respect them. These are what will determine what boundaries you have and make sure that you respect your boundaries first of all. You respect your boundaries by staying true to your values and making sure that you accept no less from others when they are dealing with you. I like my home a certain way and I feel disrespected when people come in and behave anyway they like – I believe strongly that I must respect the spaces of others whenever they invite me into them. Because of this belief, I treat invitations into peoples home almost as sacred – and find it very difficult to turn up at people’s home unexpectedly even when they assure me I can always show up whenever I want. The reason for this is that my home is my sanctuary and I find so much comfort here and anyone that disrupt that sense of peace by coming in and not respecting my space and things almost feels like an attack on me. Setting and enforcing your boundaries also means you must respect the boundaries of others. Observe the people in your life and make sure you treat them with respect by not doing what you don’t see them do. If you are not sure how people like to be treated, ask them and learn to communicate how you would like to be treated also – saying how you would like to be treated should not lose you friends, if it does, then they were not good for you anyway.
Communicate your feelings – how many times have we kept things inside because we did not want to upset others and therefore suffered in silence? After setting your boundaries, make sure that you learn to communicate your feelings – make sure you are heard and seen, take up space. One important lesson I learnt last year is that some people only tolerate you at their convenience. There were many people in my life who claimed to be my friends and I always treated them with the utmost respect – however, to preserve my relationship with them, I put up with some disrespectful behaviours over the years. When I finally decided to communicate how their actions had made me feel, they did not want to hear it and they rather were upset that I was communicating how their actions had made me feel. There was one instance where I apologised after this person acted upset that I was unhappy with how they had made me feel in their handling of a certain event. I later regretted my apology because what I had done by apologising was to negate myself and I was teaching this person that when it came to my feelings, they were inferior to theirs. I decided to communicate by not saying anything and quietly removing myself from their lives – because sometimes, not saying anything, is the most effective way of communicating how you feel.
Choose what you respond to – when I was a young girl, I used to get into trouble with my mum a lot because I responded to EVERYTHING! I felt I had to make sure that my side was heard or things were seen from my perspective, thinking about it, I was quite annoying. What I have learnt as I have grown is to be careful what I give my attention to by choosing wisely what to respond to. While I am all up for making my feelings known by communicating them, there are people I have come to accept that are who they are and my best response to them is to not respond at all. I know someone who is always present when certain information is being shared – and this person will then tell others about this information they seem to have heard with everyone that knows the subject of the information they had heard. Over the past few months, I have noticed that this person does this to gain favour with others – and I have changed how I respond to them. I no longer actively contact them and when they do contact me, I make sure that conversations are nothing serious or important and most times, I avoid them at all cost. In recent group conversations, I have changed subjects when they had brought up people I know they intentionally throw under the bus to hear how other people feel so they can go and report what was discussed. I don’t condone malicious talk so I change the subject – and we must all be good at not responding to such people or certain situations. Not everything requires your response, this includes phone calls, text messages, social media status’ – maintain your peace. Before you respond, ask yourself what purpose your response will serve to your growth and if the situation or person will change for the better with your response.
I hope these points help you navigate the new year – whatever your goals are for the year, choose your growth and wellbeing. If you find that you are not following your resolutions like you would like, take a break and regroup. I have come to accept that growth and positive change is slow and patience must be applied every step of the way especially patience with ourselves. And while you enforce these points in your life, make sure that you are observing these when dealing with others. Thank you again for your support, for taking time to read, share your experiences, and comment – let’s continue to share our experience so we can effect change.