My Year of Renewal

For so much of my life I have allowed myself to take responsibility for and feel emotions towards things that were never mine to hold in the first place. I’ve felt shame from others who so quickly hold me accountable for my failure to meet their standards, expectations, or desires. I’ve internalized shame by holding myself accountable for problems that were never my own. I’ve imagined myself as less that I am—to constantly compare myself in relation to other people.  Too frequently I’ve asked myself, Am I good enough for this? Am I good enough for them? I rarely settle in my enoughness, because I’ve been too busy wrestling with the person that I am. I’ve been fighting and clawing at myself to be everything other than who I was created to be. 

The focus of my story is not on past trauma—it is on everything that I am in spite of that: resilient, strong, courageous, brave, valuable, loved, and whole.  For too long I’ve let myself be shrouded in shame, afraid of what the imperfections and the challenges I have faced in life say about me.  The reality is that I can be broken, but I cannot be destroyed. Bravely confronting the dark and rejecting false responsibility is how I create space for my personal healing and growth. Renewal is my battle cry.

This year, I am becoming what I already am but sometimes fail to see. I am extending myself the love that I give to others. Renewal is the revitalization of myself and my life after the last year. It is a renewal of how I view and treat myself, a renewal of my faith, a renewal of my freedom, my power, and my courage. The villain in my story was not anyone or anything that brought me pain, it was my belief in the lie that anything or anyone could make me less than who I am.

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