The luxury of being single with no kids is not having holiday obligations. Instead of worrying about gifts (which I told my family I wasn’t interested in exchanging as of two years ago), I'm taking time to reflect on the year and prepare for 2019. Don’t get me wrong, family is EXTREMELY important to me, and I WILL be spending quality time with loved ones over the next week. However, in the midst of the demands of this season, we each owe it to ourselves to take a moment to look in the mirror.
At the start of the year my bedroom mirror wasn’t visible. My glass reflection was covered with post-it notes and dry-erase marker conveying scriptures, quotes, and goals. Reminders for trusting the Lord and claiming abundance greeted me every morning. Somewhere around two months ago, I decided to clean this mirror, and for the first time, I truly saw me.
It’s no secret that much of my life has been living up to expectations and fulfilling roles. I know how to be a teacher, a poet, a good daughter, a Christian, but I didn’t know what it meant to be Jasmine. Unknowingly, I have been searching for this self-understanding for a few years now by being intentional about developing friendships, distancing myself from energy drainers, reshaping situations, and creating spaces to communicate my needs. Without realizing it, I was setting the stage for me to be the most authentic version of myself. I was cleaning my mirror.
This time of year, it’s easy for our view of self to get cluttered. So many of us worry about what aunt so and so will ask or what the next person thinks, but how we view ourselves should not be based on anyone else’s standard, expectation or opinion. In fact, if we truly want to see ourselves, two practices that work well for me are conscious self-time and evaluating relationships.
How we view ourselves should not be based on anyone else’s standard, expectation or opinion.
Over the course of 2018, I intentionally spent time unpacking myself and seeking spaces for conscious silence. Previously, I would decompress by listening to music or taking a nap, but this year, I’ve increased fasting, yoga, reading, and therapy. I find that napping, which provides rest and reenergizes me, affects me differently than activities that require me to be attentive but silent or still. Both are necessary. Self-time looks different for each person, but the increase of it is not only necessary, it’s a healthy discipline that helps you operate on a higher frequency.
In addition to prioritizing me, I spent an equal amount of time with friends. My therapist always says our relationships are mirrors, and I’ve found that the frustrations I have with people often give me insight into myself. Many times other people’s behaviors force me to evaluate what I allow and why, what I do and don’t communicate, and what insecurities or baggage I might be carrying. The world becomes less about what is happening and more about what I will do to live healthily and harmoniously in each moment.
Going into the next week, take time to really look in the mirror. Reflect on the year's lessons, the time you’ve poured into you, and what your present relationships are telling you. This season is about giving, so let’s give ourselves the attention we need to walk into 2019 being the best version of ourselves.