Happy New Year! It’s been nearly a year since I posted (updates coming soon). A lot of me being MIA was to prepare for the season I was in last year. Long story, 2021 was a rollercoaster of ups and downs, but God was faithful with the victory which included helping me to establish more peace in my life. Now that we are in 2022, having peace will be a priority, a continuation of where I left off last year. In order to gain your peace, it means doing the intentional work of being brutally honest with yourself. So here are two hard (but necessary!) lessons to learn if you want to gain your peace in 2022.
Let go of victim mentality
I could write a whole blog post on the victim mentality, but we’ll save that for another day. Often, we have no peace because we play the victim by focusing on things outside of our control. I moved out of my parents’ house last year. Admittedly, this was not the original plan. I originally intended to ride the free rent train for as long as possible while saving up money and paying down debt.
However, quarantine made me realize that my peace of mind was invaluable. Hard lesson learned: Free rent is not worth tolerating an environment that isn’t conducive to your mental or emotional wellbeing. I could not control the actions of my family members, but I had total control over my actions, thoughts, and emotions. It was time for me to be okay with plans changing (because anyway, God’s plans are always better).
Maybe you’re not in the most healthy living or work situation. And perhaps, you can’t afford to move out yet or you like your job, just not the people. When we are surrounded by toxicity, it can be easy for us to adopt a victim mindset. We begin to think that life happens to us instead of embracing the idea of creating the lives we want for ourselves. That is a victim mentality. You can protect your peace by focusing on what you can control. It’s all about shifting your perspective so that you take actionable steps towards thriving in or changing your situation altogether.
Learn to accept the ugly truths about yourself
You gain your peace when you recognize and accept truths about yourself, even when they are uncomfortable to bear. Several years ago, I was angry. I struggled to pinpoint why. That summer, I attended an event for Christian influencers and entrepreneurs and met a life coach there. The group of women and I discussed everything from careers to relationships. I remember going on and on about a past unhealthy relationship when it was my turn to offer input.
The life coach interrupted me and bluntly asked, “Let me ask you a question: are you healed?” Whew, that question sucker punched me. I didn’t know how to answer. Honestly, I was offended and felt exposed. Truthfully, I was still struggling with the pain the relationship caused me. Therapists and counselors often say that anger usually masks our most vulnerable feelings. We call it the anger iceberg. Here was the hard truth: I realized I was angry because I was still deeply hurting. Secretly, I was judging myself for feeling so hurt instead of accepting that my feelings were valid.
I encourage anyone reading this to do an honest self-check-in. How are you feeling? What thoughts or feelings are you sweeping under the rug? What’s leaving you feeling imbalanced or at constant war with yourself? It’s okay to give yourself permission to accept what you feel, including your pain. Feelings aren’t facts, but they sure do give us insight on what changes we want to make. Self-acceptance is how you gain peace.
I hope this post resonated with anyone reading this. I’m praying you all to have peace in the year, wherever you need it most!
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.And the God of peace will be with you. Phillipians 4:8-9 (NIV).