I am so honored to be a part of the great things going on over at My Balanced Plate, a blog curated by my long-time friend, Esther.
My Balanced Plate is for those of us who are trying to figure out life in general: Who we are now, and who we want to be when we “grow up”! We’re working on putting ourselves first by learning to balance our mental and physical health, our careers, our finances, our homes, our social lives, and more. We’re trying new things, and most importantly, we’re moving beyond the fads and into a life that’s full and fulfilling in a healthy way.
Starting this year, I’ve joined as a guest faith contributor and I’m excited to share my inaugural post with you, “Quitters
If you’ve been believing God for a breakthrough personally that you just can’t seem to reach, maybe quitting is the key to your success!
You can head on over to My Balanced Plate to read my post, check out the site and subscribe for updates on everything from good food, great fashion and other fun topics!
…or, you can of course, read the entire post below.
Thanks as always for your support. As I’m sure every pastor who preached on NYE told you, let’s move FORWARD IN 2014!
My Balanced Plate: Quitters
I may be the only person you will meet who will say these words to you: be a quitter.
Really. It’s ok.
We’re a few days into 2014 now and I am giving you permission to quit your New Year’s resolutions. (And if you never made any, kudos to you.)
In fact, can we all just commit now to NOT making New Year’s resolutions ever again?
Let’s forego the latest lose weight fast fad. Pass by the “30 seconds to a new/better/slimmer/different you” section at Barnes & Noble. And say “thanks, but no thanks” to yet another “great deal” on a gym membership.
Let’s decide right now that for 2014 we will not look to outside sources for fulfillment, satisfaction, self-validation or self-improvement.
Instead, I propose that we all do this one thing as the New Year picks up steam: let’s accept ourselves just the way we are. Our stories. Our mistakes. Our curves. All of it — the good, the bad and the unbelievable.
No, this isn’t some reverse psychology initiative to get you to look at what lies ahead and forget about all the hell you’ve been through. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
I’m challenging you to love every test, trial and challenge you’ve come through.
Every level of hell, torment and obstacle that you overcame last year.
Every heartbreak, let down and failure.
Every tragedy of your past.
Every lie told about you and story told on you.
Decide today to accept your story because if it weren’t for the hell in your life, you wouldn’t be who you are right now. And you wouldn’t be capable of accomplishing all that you’re going to this year.
Our downfall is that we focus too much on getting through, getting over, and get past stuff. We just want it to be over.
But, in burying the lessons of our lives we miss out on critical opportunities to grow stronger, better, faster, and smarter.
We actually take longer to be our best selves when we choose to deny parts of who we are.
I know it hasn’t always been roses for you. I know we’ve each had our fair share of trying times. I have personally had more overdrawn bank accounts, underappreciated efforts, gained pounds, and yet un-realized dreams than I’d like to count.
But if we take the bold step to shift our perspective, to say, “I’m better because of what I’ve overcome,” then we may actually be able to change our loves.
The reality is that what you’ve been through would have taken someone else out. Someone else would have lost their minds – literally – but by God you’re still here…and making it look easy.
See, just by changing how we look at our pasts can catapult us from being victims to victors. Only then are we free to love all of ourselves and welcome the love and blessing of others.
Your testimony is far more than a tale of triumph. It’s your key to your next season and is critical to the growth of those around you who have to know that they too can make it, will make it too.
So save your dollars. Don’t go borrowing against your tax refund to finance this year’s “get fabulous”-quick gimmick.
All you’ve got to do is decide that you’re fabulous because of everything you’ve overcome and who you are right now, not in spite of it.
When you stop hiding from your past, other folks lose the power to hold it over you, and you are free to walk boldly and unencumbered into 2014.
You are one of the strongest beings on the face of the planet. There’s nothing you have to do to earn that title, nothing you have to prove; you just are.
So this year I pledge to myself to accept myself, my entire story, and I am committed to encouraging, equipping and amplifying your voice as you do the same with yours.
Ditch your New Year’s resolutions. Resolve to be you, fully, fiercely and without fear.
Safiya Jafari Simmons is a wife and mother of three in Washington, D.C. Her 9-to-5 is Partner at Values Partnerships Inc., a consulting firm, but she curates a blog of Christian encouragement and guest writes for The Huffington Post on the side.