“Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” – Psalms 112:6-7

How do you prepare for a new season? As the leaves slowly turn golden, my husband and I find ourselves excited to decorate our new home for all the upcoming holidays. And though the world may question the sanity of celebrating anything during the year that changed everything, my husband and I are holding steadfast to hope that there is always something to be grateful for.

When it comes to preparation, I often find myself preparing for the best. Ever the eternal optimist, I have always been the person who covered all bases to ensure that everything works out the way that it should. I’ve always naively believed that if I do everything right, everything will go right.

But if there’s anything that 2020 taught us, it’s this – no matter how much we prepare, life happens so we have to strengthen our inner world. I once believed that strengthening our inner world means doing everything we can to avoid the tough times. I totally missed the mark because developing our inner world has nothing to do with eliminating the bad but simply strengthening what’s within in order to be ready for anything.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we are not preparing for the worst either (I really don’t like pessimists) but simply equipping ourselves with the tools we need in order to continue to remain grounded no matter what happens on the outside. It’s training our minds to always look within for strength and courage so we can take the next best step. We do this so that when the winds change, we know how to brave them instead of trying to run away from them (which I used to do).

This leads me to the most valuable lesson I learned during this season – do not be afraid to look within and face what hurts. Do not fear facing the darkness not just of the world and your circumstances but also of patterns that keep repeating in your life. Be brave enough to question why certain situations keep happening and dive deep. Listen to your own darkness and once you do, you will be formidable. You will soar without the baggage because you had the courage to face your own stuff.

I must admit that in the past four years, I deflected into playing the victim role and though I cringe at how annoying I was, I understand where she was coming from. However, when I discovered the power in owning my sh*t, I never, not even for a second, want to play the victim again. It’s in owning everything that’s dark within as part of embracing the totality of who I am that I am empowered to become my best self. Doing this also helped me set boundaries and freed me from wanting to change people’s narratives about me. I’ve always wanted to get to this place but never quite got there. This is why I am grateful for the people who have helped me in this journey and continue to help me.

In the same breath, doing this also allowed me to be more accepting of myself which is the foundation of being accepting of others. It’s been a mindblowing experience and it feels good to just write about it and hopefully encourage others to take on their own journey as well. There’s freedom in knowing that we have everything within to not only create the lives we want but to create it despite what the world throws our way because it is extremely possible.

Sending you love and good cheer and may this season be everything you wish for and more.