My Word for 2022: Forgive

After writing my last post, it got me thinking a lot about forgiveness. It’s been a topic that has been surfacing again and again in the last few months, and I’m thinking that I need to take note of it. 

I have a hard time with forgiveness. I’m sure everyone does to some extent, but I realized recently that my personality is wired to make it extra challenging. I’m an Enneagram 1 – and Ones are described as having a “strong, innate desire for fairness, accuracy, and order. They tend be bold advocates for the rights of others and when healthy, may challenge the status quo to make push for reforms and equality.” 

The book The Road Back To You calls Enneagram 1s “Reformers.” But another word that is also accurate is “Perfectionist.” Ones don’t like mistakes. They want things to be fair. Getting taken advantage of, or seeing another person get taken advantage of, is extremely aggravating for Ones. Ones often have issues with resentment and unexpressed anger.

All of that mixed together in one personality can make it very hard to forgive. I think a lot of Enneagram 1s also find it hard to offer forgiveness to themselves, due to their constant inner critic. 

Fairness and justice are wonderful things. Being an advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves is awesome – and hooray to Ones for upholding those values. 

But it sure makes the world a hard place to live in sometimes. Life is not fair, it’s not always just. People are selfish and make mistakes. 

My personal focus for last year was “spiritual bravery.” I wanted to have more faith and courage in God. I wanted to release my desire to control everything all of the time. It was a good focus, and I’ve grown in faith and spiritual courage this past year. 

As I thought ahead to 2022, even though I was not super excited about it, all signs pointed to one word: Forgiveness. 

What were the signs, you may wonder? I had recently attended a Bible class at my church, and the teacher made the following statement:

“If you read everything that Jesus said in the Bible, and there’s not something that bothers you, you’re not paying attention.”

Randy Harris

He was specifically referencing Jesus asking us to forgive others, even those who don’t deserve it. (Matthew 18:21-22)

Then less than a week later, I found myself in a situation where I was really angry with a friend and needed to forgive her. I thought of a lot of reasons not to, and tried to rationalize with myself that she didn’t deserve for me to forgive her yet again. But then I remembered that Bible class, and I remembered what God calls me to do: forgive others. 

If I’m honest, I don’t want this to be my focus. (And that’s part of the reason why I am confident this is supposed to be my word for this year!) It’s going to be a challenge, and something that I am confident I will fail at many times.

But I know I need to be more intentional about fostering forgiveness, and I need to practice it more often so that hopefully down the road, it won’t be as difficult as it feels today. Honestly, I think the only way I’m going to make any progress at it is going to be through the grace of God, and his transforming power.

If you’ve grown up going to church or reading the Bible to any extent, you’ve probably heard many verses and sermons about forgiveness. So at this time, I won’t go into all the reasons why, from a Biblical perspective, we should forgive. (But if you’re interested, I found a site that goes into depth on 10 reasons why the Bible tells us to forgive – or you can always grab a Bible and do your own studying.)

My top reasons for wanting this to be my focus for this year do revolve around God and personal spiritual growth. But even if you don’t consider yourself a religious or spiritual person, there are still some great reasons to forgive others.

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My Unoriginal New Year’s Resolutions

I love making New Year’s resolutions – I love goal setting and list-making in general. I love that feeling of a fresh start and the potential for the year to be anything you want it to be. 

Some people pick a word for the year – and I’ve never really been able to do that before, nothing ever felt right to me. But this year, the word that keeps coming to my mind is “thrive.” I’m really optimistic about 2020 – I think big things are going to happen for me. I have no proof of this, just a feeling.  

My year is starting off with a bang – three weekends in a row I will be out of town, which is almost unheard of for me. I turn 33 in two weeks, and I’m heading to Dallas to celebrate by getting my first tattoo (I’m super stoked for this by the way!) The following weekend, I’ll be heading to Orlando, Florida to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday in DisneyWorld. Then the next weekend Dean and I will be going to a My Hero Academia convention (back in Dallas). Two days later I will be having surgery on my foot, and then I’ll start the long recovery process…

So, why have I said that my resolutions are unoriginal for this year? Well, thriving for me looks like doing the things I want to do for my health, but have struggled to do for the past few months/years:

  • Exercising consistently
  • Eating better/cooking at home more
  • Praying/meditating daily

These goals are things I always take for granted that I will do every day, but I found it to be a real struggle to achieve these while I was in grad school. They’re your basic “good habits” that we all know we should be doing, but somehow find ourselves not doing them. Now that grad school is done, I feel like I’ve got more breathing room. I mostly just want to get back on track with being healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. So yes, they are totally cliché and unoriginal, but those are my resolutions for 2020, summed up in a word: Thrive.  

Another part of thriving for me is just feeling good being me in the places where I am. I feel like I got to a point last year where I just felt tired of feeling bad – of feeling insecure and anxious all the time. Is that something you can just decide to not feel anymore? I’m going to pretend like it is and see how it works out for me… I’m tired of feeling imposter syndrome at my job – I’m tired of feeling ugly in pictures – I’m tired of worrying about being made fun of for the music or t.v. shows I like – I’m tired of pressuring myself to be a “better” mom – I’m tired of caring that not enough people “liked” my photos or read my blog – I’m tired of just barely surviving and making it to the end of each day – I just want to be me and feel good about it, to be good enough and not perfect. 

Perhaps my unoriginal resolutions have a bit more nuance than they initially do at first glance – but I’ll admit they are still pretty run-of-the-mill. However, I am pretty excited about my unoriginal resolutions and what they will mean for me in the upcoming year. Whether you’re the type of person who makes resolutions or not, whether your goals for 2020 are exciting, boring, or average, I hope this year brings you one step closer to thriving. 

Thanks for reading!