New is good!
I've experienced a recurring theme the last couple of weeks and that theme is new beginnings. I know that can probably sound real cliché' right around the new year, however it's true. I kept experiencing situations that seemed to scream, "Do you really want a new beginning"? It wasn't just happening in my life; it was happening in the lives of others around me too. One lady that I spoke with literally said to me, "Why does it seem like the past is knocking on my door!" and we both laughed. I had a situation where someone from my past reached out during the time I experienced a death in my family, so hypothetically speaking it could have been very easy for me to lean in the direction of a familiar face because of a heightened emotional time. This person was not necessarily a healthy influence in my life. You know how sometimes you keep someone in your life because you fear speaking up about their behavior or you don't exactly know how to exit the relationship yet, well that is what this friendship was like. Eventually I grew to a point where I would not tolerate the selfishness or other toxic traits and removed myself from the one-sided friendship. Real new beginnings require closing some doors, exiting relationships and getting rid of habits that no longer positively serve your life any longer.
Several other situations from the past just kept popping up and I finally said, "What is going on, why do these old familiar cycles keep showing up?" I felt like the Lord was saying, "New beginnings, require your permission and completely closing old doors." Old doors can represent, people, places, mentalities and things that we have moved on from that were unhealthy or people, places and mentalities that it is simply time to move on from because of our own personal growth. If you are going to be healthy and happy in your new beginning, you must be willing to get good at knowing when and how to exit and the art of recognizing proper timing and alignment with your purpose. We can create exponential impact in our lives when we learn to speak up and use the power of our personal voice to declare either “this is working well, or this is not working well.”
I started to ponder what was happening and how I would handle the different situations and offer solicited solutions to those who were asking for my advice. Here were my resolutions concerning “the past” (untimely situations or unhealthy situations) knocking at my door:
1. Do not romanticize your past-When we romanticize the past we act as though it was all good with no stress or bad happenings in our lives. We usually do this when we are going through a tough time, so we put our past on a pedestal titled, “The good old days.” I suggest not romanticizing the past because when we do this, we eliminate the whole truth. When we eliminate the whole truth, we dismiss the after-effects, trauma or negative consequence that came with the situation. When we do this, we create fantasy, forfeit the good in our present, disrespect our soul-work and potentially re-open doors that should remain closed! Focus grasshopper, you should know where the exits are always !
2. Strengthen your core-Sometimes in life we go through situations where it seems like everything is being shaken out of its place. The good thing about these times is that in hindsight we can recognize where our actions don’t align with our beliefs and decide which hindrances we are going to remove and which belief systems we will keep and commit to. Conflict gives us the opportunity to soberly take inventory of the core values, future goals and character traits that best serve our lives.
3. Resolve to respect your soul work- Honor the work you have done to heal emotionally, mentally, physically and financially.
4. Resolve to stay in proper timing & to remain present (don’t live in the past or in the future it causes anxiety)-Proper timing is what I deem spiritual timing, God’s timing. It is a time when everything is in sync. The right time, the right place and the right action all manifest when it is exactly right for you. This also means we are not trying to force things to happen instead we move in faith, do the necessary work concerning the matter and trust that what we need will manifest. In other words we are prepared the promise! For example, once I looked for a job for 10 months to no avail, I put in applications, went on interviews, I even had second interviews, talk about frustrating! I got none of those jobs (say it with me, zero) I applied for in ten months but when I continued to do the work, have faith plus let go of the outcome and trust that I would get the job I declared and wanted then I saw results.
5. Remain prepared- I am reminded of the verse, “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me (Revelation 3:8).” What is it that you can do now to remain ready for opportunity and open doors? How can you be prepared for what you have prayed and planned for? Being prepared helps to increase self-discipline, helps to think critically and strategically and finally it reduces stress about the new beginning.
6. Resolve to say no- You owe no one an explanation to disconnect from someone or something that is hurting you or not healthy for you. Also respect your time and insist that others respect your time as well. “To be absent from drama is to present with peace.” Author Unknown
7. Resolve that you are going to renew your mind-If you are going to succeed in a new area, you’ll need to be open and learn new information. You will literally need to re-wire your thinking to gain the results you presently have in mind. Make this practice of becoming a life-long learner around the subject matter a journey not a destination. One very important result/benefit of renewing your mind: You will have an honest evaluation of yourself and your new situation.
8. Commit-Be committed to your new beginning and expect turbulence. Plan for glitches in your new area so that you can actively problem solve the situations. In my experience new endeavors come with new resistance however I’ve learned over time to tweak my perspective from the idea that “this is not happening to me it is happening for me” when we think of it this way we are able to glean the lesson instead becoming a victim to circumstance. It also creates opportunity to brainstorm new ideas. I would also suggest enlisting the help of others that may have expert advice or opinions to help navigate any choppy circumstances.
9. Execute-Execute your plans on a consistent basis while also doing some quality control checking to assure you remain on track and produce quality results. I would even suggest an accountability partner to help hold you responsible to your vision and goals.
10. Cut-Dismiss mindsets, associations and relationships that devalue you and your vision. You cannot take things that devalue you into new realms of being and working or they will stifle your personal development and your work. Nehemiah 6:3 says it like this, “And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” Sometimes people feel that if they have in-road to you this grants them immediate access, this is not true so be discerning and selective about who has an audience with you and for what reason.
11. Experience-Take time to get familiar with your new surroundings or new beginnings. Doing the work but not being able to stop and appreciate your new level or experience could possibly produce disparagement leading to discouragement causing lack of progress. So, take the time to be grateful about the good decisions you’ve made, celebrate and share your wins and create healthy dialogue around your new experiences (in safe places) that foster ideas to keep growing and moving forward. In my experience gratefulness is a magnet for receiving blessings and opportunities tailor-made for you.
I could say this experience was a litmus test to recognize God’s will or simply a test to see if I was awake and paying attention. I like that the “closed door” test worked to help me and my associates dial in even more to deepening relationship with God by having to seek him about situations. I’m glad I didn’t just overlook the sensitivity of it all and accept familiarity of situation and keep going with life as usual. I am glad to have stopped to pray and seek God’s wisdom so that I could discern what was happening and prepare for new beginnings. Jesus said, (Mark 2:22) “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved. New is good and to truly experience the benefits of new things we have to part with old traditions that keep us bound to outdated or irrelevant mismatched belief systems. Simply put don’t take the old and try to merge it with the new cause you aggravation and creating cycles tht keep you stuck. Whatever your new thing is- the newly revealed or newly developed must have capacity to hold the updates so it won’t be lost entirely.
As usual I hope the time, we’ve spent has added value to your life and I hope these tips will help you experience exponential goodness in the new year.