My One-Word Theme for 2014

“Love” was my theme for 2013, and it really surprised me how much I did learn about love, within the year.  The walls have been crumbling, and I have begun to understand love on a very profound, spiritual level.  Honestly, I considered making “Love” my one-word theme again, not just for 2014 but for the rest of my life.

However, life continues to teach me new lessons, and I’ve found another word, that aligns very closely with love.  And that word is, “Surrender.”  For so long, I’ve viewed surrender as a negative notion, as one that means giving up or quitting.

My views, though, were changed when I had e-mailed one of my friends about all the changes I intended to make in my life.  I had been in Houston for a couple of months, and I found that I was still backsliding and I was still fearful and coping with (perceived) unworthiness.  I was going to change things, be more disciplined, etc. etc.

My friend wrote me back, “The one thing you haven’t done is surrender.”

At first, I thought that was a compliment.  That I had rediscovered my old grit and insistence on pressing on, even when it seems impossible.  I wasn’t giving up.  I was going to become the person I wanted to be, no matter what!

But, on further examination, I saw that this was not a compliment at all.  My friend was telling me that I needed to stop trying to manipulate everything.  I needed to keep trying to get my hands in everything, and just allow life–and myself–to grow and evolve.

It isn’t through muscling ourselves that we change and grow.  It’s through awareness, understanding, and acceptance.  When we can see what’s going on, it will naturally change, if it needs to.  It can’t be forced.

And life is the same way.  We waste energy trying to get others to like us, trying to protect ourselves and make things turn out the way we want them to.  We need to do what we need to do, without wasting energy on useless endeavors.  There are things that are outside of the realm of our control, and we need to surrender, and to accept that.

Surrender is difficult, because we don’t like to be in control.  We want to hang on, and force things to stay the way they are, or force them to change in the way that we want them to.  But our forcing is like pressing on a brick wall.  It’s nothing more than a waste of energy.

Once we see that, we see that surrender is our only option.  We need to let go.  We need to stop trying to control the wind, and, instead, adjust our sails.

Once we stop fighting the weather, we are truly able to dance with the wind–to dance with life.

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10 thoughts on “My One-Word Theme for 2014

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  2. Hi Bethany! What a great intention to set for 2014 and certainly one every single one of us will benefit from. It also reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Mark Twain, ““Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

    May you and your family and loved ones have an amazing Christmas and a Wonderful New Year! It’s been so great connecting with you in 2013 I can’t wait to see what unfolds in 2014! ~Kathy

    • I love that quote, Kathy. I hope to read lots of Mark Twain when we go down the Mississippi next summer.

      And you have a wonderful Christmas as well. I’m so glad we crossed paths!

  3. I’ll say it again. You are so wise for being so young. Surrender is something you have to do over and over again. I learned my first big lesson in surrender 46 years ago. But always need to be reminded over and over because we naturally forget we don’t really run things. 🙂

    • I have to laugh whenever you say that, because at times I also come across as much younger than I am. But I suppose that’s true for all of us.

      Have a wonderful holiday!

      • To me, you are young. I have children probably older than you. Everyone is young to me.:) Have a wonderful Christmas too. It’s all about the little ones and that’s the part I miss the most. I borrow where I can. 🙂

          • Yup, both my kids are older than you. One’s 40, the other 46. Soon they’ll get their AARP membership offer! :))))) Unfortunately, no grandkids so we borrow my great-nieces. We love kids and don’t care who they belong to, we just love them. Love seeing pictures of your Beanie so don’t hold back.

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