+ (positive)

on flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bjmclaughlin/3086734737/sizes/l/

by bjmclaughlin Creative Commons License

starting off a new year is easy. it’s when you get further along when the going gets rough. unless you’re a procrastinator like me, then well, the starting is the bitch of it. i’m going to just jump right in here. no procrastinating, no making excuses, and no pushing the deadlines back here. i’m going to really focus on my goals for this year–flesh them out, figure out how to keep myself on track, anticipate road-blocks and have a plan in place for dealing with them, and plan on rewards.  these objectives definitely fall under the theme word of “positive”, dontcha think?

let’s talk about that theme word a little bit. positive.

when i think of that word, i picture a plus sign in my head first, then a stream of images that embody the idea of good things, optimism, fresh, new, alive, awakened, energy, happiness, and goodness from the heart. i am drawn to the ideas and philosophies of mindfulness, buddhist philosophy, positive psychology. i doubt that i can put in words what this one word means to me, but i can, at the very least, loosely describe what this word means applied to the various areas of my life as a part of my goals for 2010.

self-acceptance

the hell of hating yourself for most of your life cannot be described. i wish that i could simply send you my thoughts and emotions via telepathy. then you would know. you would understand. but at the same time, i don’t want anyone else in the world to have that understanding or empathy or knowing.

i’ve made such tremendous strides towards learning to love myself. in fits and starts, i’ve learned to like certain things about myself. i learned to offer nuturing to myself.  i’ve learned to forgive myself and am still learning to forgive others.

looking in mirrors is something i’m trying to learn to be more comfortable with. in the past, i’ve had phases where i was hyper-aware of my appearance and spent a good deal of time inspecting myself and my overall appearance in mirrors. over the past few years, i realized that i very rarely consciously look at myself in the mirror. when i have to look in a mirror, i find that i am normally looking at a single characteristic–such as the teeth, eyebrows, eyes, hair–but never as a whole. my appearance has, understandably, suffered in those times when i have been in pretty much total avoidance of mirrors.

this past year, i’ve made significant strides in this area and as i take steps to adjust and improve actions and behaviors, i plan to also address the underlying psychological issues that have led to my long-standing self-esteem and self-acceptance issues.

relationships

this is an area that is somewhat confusing to me. this is one of those issues that is either hot or cold with me. i have either close friends who are like family to me or convoluted relationships that i never seem to be able to figure out. my history of seeking love and acceptance in the wrong people seems to defy the impression that i am a balanced, clear-headed person when it comes to relationships.

last year, i made some improvements in staying grounded when it comes to relationships, but i still made quite a few mistakes and experienced some significant confusion or even “cluelessness” in many situations. this year, i hope that i can become more at peace and project more positivity in relationships. i plan to take a different approach to people by developing ways to be optimistic, positive, and hopeful.

love

love has touched me this past year and i hope that it continues to slowly develop in this new year. i struggle with keeping the head over the heart as emotions fluctuate and excitement ebbs and flows. the goal is to take things as they come and avoid trying to control things or over-analyzing. to savor and enjoy with a focus on the here-and-now. more importantly, realizing that i truly deserve to be loved and that i am worthy of being loved.

yeah, i know these three areas have a great deal of overlap. doesn’t all of life? the point is that i plan to change my self-presentation to the world to be a person who has no expectations of others  or of situations and who tries to make a positive impact in the lives of others, whether it be a smile or a kind word for someone who is having a rough time. i will make it a point to say something positive to those around me, whether strangers, friends, family or lovers. i will make it a point to give something positive of myself to the world. i will make it a point to treat myself with a positive and loving approach. i will change my self talk and internal dialogue from negative, condescending, and disrespectful to positive, uplifting, and respectful.

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