January 5, 2021
I’m pretty sure we’ve all breathed a sigh of relief on some level after surviving 2020. Whew, what a whirlwind in so many ways! I found myself juggling several balls last year in my career, home life, spiritual walk, and relationships. Needless to say, it was difficult to determine where my loyalty resided at any given moment. I was simply trying to get through each day. What about you?
As I’ve reflected on 2021, especially what I’d like to bring to the new year, I’ve found it helpful to take stock of 2020. I often find value in exploring the past to consider what worked and what didn’t work.
Here’s what I discovered …
Family was front and center in 2020, related in large part to my dad’s death early in the year. Work proved quite different as a result of the pandemic, contributing to my transitioning from an 8-5 job to solo practice. Emphasis on self-care waxed and waned throughout the year, related to my navigating life apart from traditional employment and honestly, sheer exhaustion due to grief. In addition, my spiritual life experienced highs and lows as I cherished more alone time with God, yet flailed apart from weekly rituals at church. Finally, social media …
At the risk of embarrassing myself here, I’ll be honest. Eeeeeekkkkk!
Social media won, hands down!
This past weekend, I took the bold step of evaluating my social media activity throughout the year and was BLOWN AWAY! I logged thousands of hours between Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! O.M.Goodness!
It was quite eye-opening to discover — in bright bold text — where my loyalty resided in 2020. And I felt tempted to dwell on my missteps. But that never solves anything, does it? (Quick aside: Check out my latest Instagram post about the beauty of glancing back to the past: https://www.instagram.com/drmekel/).
So … yep! I consumed loads of social media last year. To be honest, I probably needed to drown out the noise associated with my dad’s death, the deaths of too many innocent Black persons, life in the midst of a pandemic, social and political upheaval, and day-to-day stressors.
See what just happened there? Radical acceptance of what is without judgment! I can’t change 2020; however, I can glean insights from 2020 to help me in the present.
Even though I just commented on a few social media posts, I’m proud to say that my loyalty thus far in 2021 has resided with God and myself. For the past 5 days, I’ve enjoyed spending at least 30 minutes at the top of the morning in prayer and reflection on what I’m grateful for. In addition, this has been followed by a focus on how I can uplift and inspire myself — through listening to podcasts or writing or simply daydreaming and vision casting. Then, work …
Friends, as you consider where your loyalty resides, take it as a challenge. It’s not about beating yourself up for last year or setting unrealistic goals for the current one. It’s simply about taking stock of what is holding your attention and shifting things to better align with what you desire today.
I’m hopeful that as you reflect on your loyalties, you’ll remember (as my mom used to say): “What you water grows.”
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If you’re interested in learning more about managing your lifestyle, love, leadership, and loyalties to God, self, and others, click here: https://mekelharrisphd.com/.