Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Year of Kindness

Somehow the trend of setting a word-of-the-year missed me all together. In general,  I am more interested in planning a focus or direction for my life than writing out specific goals or resolutions.

But this year a word fell into my lap, as if by divine intervention.  The signs, like little whispers from God, were everywhere and really quite clear.

I hesitate to use this space, typically devoted to photography and creative endeavors, to share my personal struggles. But more and more, photography has become a tool for me to express myself and grow - and ultimately, I think this is creativity.

I've been reading about the distinctions between being nice and being kind, and why I might want to stop being nice and start being kind.  Reading these two articles, by Marcia Sirota, the truth hit me like a ton of bricks. With every sentence, I recognized myself. I cried and cried as I realized just how much my need to please others and my need to be liked influences my relationships and my art.

And so my word for 2016 is Kindness. I intend to stop looking outside of myself for love and approval. I'm working on strategies to make this change.  For now, I am sitting with this question, posed to me by a friend:

Who would I be if I didn't need to be liked? 



I am excited to make these changes and ready to embrace a new and improved version of myself.

The kind person sets good limits with others, and because she doesn't allow herself to be mistreated, she's cheerful, easy-going and approachable. She trusts herself to take care of herself in her personal and professional relationships, so she feels at ease with other people and her heart is open.

If you choose a word for 2016 or set out a new plan for your life, I'd love to hear all about it; we can support each other.

It's going to be a really good year!

12 comments:

  1. For the past two days I have been trying to find my word or phrase for 2016 . Last year it was Live Life Joyously. I will know my word when I find it because my heart will sing. I'm looking forward to another year of living my life joyously and....

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    1. Donna, I can't wait to find out what your word will be . . . your choice to live life joyously speaks to my heart. You set out to have a wonderful life - not an expectation as much as a direction. Wishing you a word that truly makes your heart sing!

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    2. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate each and everyone of your post,you're always so thoughtful with your words. I like the word Kind you picked for 2016. I tried to be a kind person to myself when I had my kids and started to stay home with them 20 some years ago. I know there are times I need to say "no" and there are times I need to say "yes" and I might really want to say yes when I need to say no and also the opposite is true. After much contemplation I have picked the word "Seek" for 2016. I will be come the seeker of .... Looking forward to a new year of seeking.
      God bless you and your family through the holiday and into the new year.

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  2. I love your transparency. I love the word kindness, it's really rich and deep when you think about it.

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    1. Your word for 2015, endurance, required much from you, and I believe that kindness will be the same for me. A shift in my thinking is needed; boundaries need to be set; balance will be cultivated. Can't wait to read about your word for 2016 and how God will work in your life.

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  3. So agree with Elizabeth and just always look forward to your insight and knowledge. I know you will be a success with this throughout 2016. Keep the faith my beautiful wise friend. I already have my word as you know and look forward to Making-Light. You are a treasure and never forget that. Remember this quote. "A beautiful thing is Never Perfect."

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  4. This is so good, thank you for sharing the article from Marcia. I just shared it on Twitter. Isn't it amazing how these little promptings from the universe happen at just the time you need them?

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  5. I read your comment on Elizabeth's post re. "endurance"...
    I'm pretty sure I have my word...I'm thinking and praying a bit more before announcing it. :)

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  6. Oh, my. Yes, this is a very thought-provoking post. By being kind instead of just nice, we're in essence being kind to ourselves. Oh, yeah. I shall give this some thought! Thanks, Donna!

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  7. Very profound! The term "random acts of kindness" was written to me in a thank you note 15 years ago...at that time, It started me thinking about ways I could be kinder to others, and it helped me have a better view of the way I gave...to be more mindful and be someone with a kinder spirit and attitude. It's a daily work in progress, and your post is a reminder yet again, kindness rules! As for my 2016 word...it will be something like "reclaiming myself". Thank you for writing this Donna! It means so much.

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  8. I think kindness comes from being confident in one's self. Like you said once you stop looking outside of yourself for approval, and likes, it is easier to focus on the work you have been given to bless others. This is the first year that I am not picking a word. I am choosing instead to keep Galations 6:4-5 my focus and make a deep exploration of who I am and the work I have been given. The "work I have been GIVEN" being huge for me. Instead of pushing what I want all the time, I need to focus on the creative work I have already been given and do that to the best of my ability, while being open to new work that maybe given to me. I think both of us have made profound changes this year, let's keep at it my friend.

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  9. Last year was my first year of choosing a word...and quite honestly it automatically wove itself into my life...but it wasn't something I really worked at per se. So this year I'm not choosing one...I do however have plenty of goals...so we'll see where it takes me! But, like you have expressed...I think each and every year we should look towards self improvement and that I'll do with open arms! Nice post!

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