I love fresh starts! It’s truly a motto I live by. I mean, really, how many of us would like a do-over for something in our lives? Is there something in your life right now that you regret? Are you hurting? Are you feeling burdened by guilt? I know what it’s like to mess up; we all do it! We can choose to stay there, in that dark place, or we can move forward. I choose moving forward. How about you? Are you ready for a fresh start?
For years I struggled with perfectionism (I still do!). I was always so hard on myself, and if I made a mistake, I really beat myself up about it. I would keep telling myself over and over how badly I had done. The internal dialogue in my head was so negative. I remember getting really angry about something…who knows what. I was in my bedroom brushing my hair. Well, whatever set me off led into me yelling, storming out of my room, and as I was going down the hall, still yelling, I threw my hairbrush on the floor. I threw it so hard, the handle broke. I felt so ashamed after. Seriously, what was I thinking? What was wrong with me? What kind of mother does that? What kind of example was I being to my kids? I felt so awful. And I just kept replaying it in my head.
I only lived through that experience one time. But because I kept playing it over and over, it was like I was reliving that mistake a hundred times. The negative talk was constant. I felt horrible. Eventually I apologized to my kids, who of course heard the whole thing. And then I needed to let go. Hanging on to the guilt, the shame, the embarrassment, would only make things worse. I couldn’t go back and change anything. What was done, was done.
And that’s where fresh starts come in.
We can never go back and change the past, or undo the wrongs. Once it’s happened, that’s it. But we can move forward. We can accept what happened, and then do better next time. Whether it’s as small as choosing to eat a doughnut when you’re trying to eat healthy, or as big as racking up $50,000 worth of debt. And remembering we can have a fresh start, right there at that very moment, can be life-altering.
What about the big things, the things that have built up over years, maybe even a lifetime…bad habits, poor choices. My friend, it’s all in the past. Today you can do differently. It will take time, but you can have that fresh start, in any and every area of your life!
Here’s the deal…we want to extend grace to others. We offer forgiveness. We have a soft heart. But our expectations for ourselves? Off the charts. Let’s start giving ourselves grace, showing mercy, forgiving ourselves, and start over. We can, and will, do better next time. We don’t need to wait for anything or anyone. We can do it now. Right now.
That’s right! You can simply use this very moment to make a change. Don’t let one bad choice ruin the rest of the day, week, month…life!
I wish it was as easy as it is simple. But you are worth it. Your family is worth it.
Just keep reminding yourself…fresh starts.
This is how we find peace. This is how we reduce stress.
This is where we find joy!