I have this odd obsession with Mom Blogs. (You would think this would terrify men, and yet my Kennifer used to watch me comb through the Rockstar Diaries for hours on end when we worked the late shifts together. As a result, most of my friends are actually acutely aware of this obsession.)
Recently, Sherri Dupree-Bemis posted a pic of her pink-haired sweethearts on Insta with a caption (something along the lines of): “If only I knew these two babies would one day be mine, I wouldn’t have worried so much.”
Isn’t that how life goes, though? Isn’t that where all the anxiety stems from? The unknown? The “What If’s” mixed with the “I Wants.”
If only I knew I’d one day have this phenomenal job in which I’d get to be creative and entertain and oversee; I wouldn’t have been so upset about that rejection letter from LMU when I was seventeen (I never talk about this rejection. It’s one of my greatest shames. That and the fact that I tried to get into the wrong car at church the other day in front of 15 people I’d just hugged goodbye). But then last week I had to come to work super early for a conference call with London and I thought – Oh my goodness I did it. How did I get here? I swear I was struggling just 365 days ago.
We are so desperate for the destination.
What if we get a say in the destination but must submit to the path? The waiting, the treading water, the suffering, the grunt work, the boring, the difficult. What if God puts a destination on our hearts, but the journey is His? What if the universe knows more about what we need to be fully equipped than we do? We want the diploma without the tests. We’re like middle schoolers who promise to study in exchange for no homework. But what’s the motivation?
There are patterns to everything in life, and if we can come to recognize them, we can often times mitigate the anxiety.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s creative pattern:
- I wish I never started
- I’ll never write a good sentence again
- I’m a lazy bum
- Dreading the awful reviews
- Done. But panicking now that I’ll never create again
And yet she does. And so do we.
When I first started running I used to HATE the first mile. I’d sit in my car for an hour drinking coffee trying to sike myself up. Then I’d get going and decide that 2 miles was the equivalent of death. Until one day 4 became cake, and then 5, 6, and now I know I can run whatever distance I desire. I know the pattern. I know that half way is great and then I want to give up but if I keep going… just keep at it..
It’s a metaphor that translates into a coping mechanism.
We’ve compiled these lists of everything we want: College/Husband/Wife/Babies/Career/HotBod/Friends/Family/House
But as we go after our lists, the pattern of fear will also begin:
- We worry that we’ll never not be miserable 15 years-old. We’ll never find friends who get us. Our family will never care. We’ll never get into college and get away from it all.
- We sit in our dorms at college and dwell – we fear the hangover will never end, we’ll never pass that test. We’ll never graduate and if we do we’ll be one of the many who can’t get a legit job.
- We sit at our desks at work and complain to our coworkers that we’ll never find a man.
- We get married and fear we’ll never have enough money to buy a house, get out of debt; and then somewhere along the way we get bored of our spouses.
And society propagates this fear with headlines like, “Millennials in massive debt” and “Millennials awful at dating.” “Divorce,” “Terrorism,” “Kardashians.”
We aren’t acknowledging the problems with the intention of fixing them – we’re letting the media shape our reality with phrases and headlines and assumptions. We’re distracted from what’s really going on (which is a whole other blog).
But regardless the fear has to stop. If energy can never be created or destroyed, then we need to reattribute this energy to something new; something positive.
So I think it’s important to use this time, these last few days of this terrible-horrible-nogood-verybad-year, also known as 2016, to help us shape our intentions for 2017, and escape the anxiety.
Tony Robbins goes so far as to say that “Stress is the achiever’s word for fear.”
We are the achievers. Let’s recognize there is no place for fear, anxiety, stress, worry.
WORRY AND FEAR I REBUKE YOU.
Guys I know many of us aren’t so into resolutions, but 2016 kinda sucked so maybe we should just suck it up and do the trendy, alternative, L.A. thing and set some Intentions.
For instance, last year I resolved that with enough practice I would finally stop putting my lululemon yoga pants on inside out and backwards. (Which I did consistently EVERY TIME.) And you know what? I’ve only put them on wrong twice this year!
No matter if you’re an Agnostic, Atheist, Christian, New Ager, Catholic, Buddhist – you know that life tends to work out. And it does so beyond our control. So many faiths advocate proclaiming your desires and watching them reign in – but in their own time.
So I want to encourage you to make a list – what do you want? What are you praying for? What are you doing to make it all happen? And then LET GO (And let God/let the universe/let The Secret/let it gooo let it goooo/let it be).
So for the sake of inspiration, here are some of my own intentions for 2017:
- I intend to continue developing, learning, growing.
- I intend to further develop that sweet spot between honesty and kindness.
- I intend to further develop my ability to listen. Talk less.
- I intend to be a good, loving, selfless friend; to pour into my loved ones and my family.
- I intend to write. I intend to get published. In print.
- I intend to eat with intention – for nutrition not pleasure.
- I intend to run a half marathon. And practice yoga in the interim for my joints. And spin for my stamina. I intend to get really good at all three.
- I intend to release my dependency on caffeine.
- I intend to consume less red wine (oh how I love you).
- I intend to attract a mentor* – someone I can pour out all my questions onto and have deep discussions without burdening them.
- I intend to pour into my career.
- I intend to travel, and grow my soul.
- I intended to develop a deeper sense of kindness, patience, and love.
- I intend to find stability in my finances (Full disclosure, I totes lost my CC somewhere in my room and then my debit card got snatched. I’ma mess).
- I intend to get rid of things. I have way too many things.
- I intend to take good care of the things I do have.
Aaaand.. here are some of my Christian intentions for 2017:
- I intend to read and study The New Testament of The Bible.
- I intend to develop my patience, and find a strong sense of obedience to God.
- I intend to find self-control as a fruit of the spirit.
- I intend to pour into my already wonderful relationship with God.
- I intend spend more time in the morning with God.
- I intend to spend more time praying for my loved ones.
- *I intend for my mentor to be a devout, open-minded Christian who allows for a wide faith. Someone who can handle my questions, and help me develop as a devout, open-minded, kind Christian who speaks light into the lives of others.