My one word for 2015 is ‘slack.‘
S-L-A-CK! (I can just hear Miranda Hart saying, “It’s a lovely word – slack!”)
The other day, I was ruminating about some tough stuff going on for me at the time and the friend listening unexpectedly said,
“What about not being so hard on yourself? I don’t hear much of that!”
Closely followed by,
“You’re doing a great job… … I don’t see any nodding.”
“At what point was anything you said just now, your fault?” she continued,
“Well, I’m the common factor in it all” I sniveled.
“Yes but that’s only because it’s your life!” she replied.
As you can see, I’m not good at being kind to myself but I’m very good at thinking I am responsible for the world, its wife and its feelings. I am quite good at giving other people the benefit of the doubt but terrible at doing it for myself.
I’ve been through some traumatic times and coupled with the resulting physical weakness and lack of energy, in moments of clarity I wonder why the hell I feel guilty and push myself on the infrequent days when it still feels too much of a struggle?
I really need to remember I’m a survivor and survivors need to cut themselves some slack sometimes.
Immediately, choosing this word makes me feel guilty and indulgent. I worry that ‘slack’ is an easy option but then there’s a difference between ‘cutting myself some slack’ and ‘slacking off.’ I want ‘cutting myself some slack’ to look like loving myself; honouring my needs; recovering; letting life happen; surrendering to joy and not thinking that I am answerable for more than I am. An easy option? It may just be the hardest thing I’ll ever do!
I want to focus on being grateful for where I am, who I have in my life and what I have learned through the tough stuff.
I want to listen to (and believe!) the positives that the people who know me well and can see me much more objectively than I can say to me. I want to celebrate and own my successes and strengths without feeling at fault or indulgent for doing it.
I’m not going to beat myself up for having a bad day and needing to hide from the world for a while. It will pass. I’m going to try to listen to what my body’s telling me; if the energy isn’t there, I’ll take a rest or do something different.
So yep, I’m gonna spend a year cutting myself some slack. After years of being tied up in unspoken restrictions and covert control, I reckon it’s time to cut myself a bit of breathing space.
And if it all goes horribly wrong and I’m terrible at it…guess what? That’s not going to matter either. At least I tried.
Matthew 11:28-30The Message (MSG)
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”