When I flipped open my new 2017 calendar this week there was a holiday listed for today; January 6th. The Day of Epiphany. I will admit to my ignorance and I did not know what this was. But I KNEW there was a blog in there somewhere. Had to be. One week into the New Year is the perfect time to have a Day of Epiphany.
Just to show that I did my research; the Day of Epiphany in Greek Orthodox traditionally represents the day the Three Kings (Magi) found the Baby Jesus. In Greek; ‘epiphany’ is a verb that means ‘to appear’ or a ‘sudden revelation’. The Christian significance sets this as the day commemorating when Baby Jesus was ‘revealed’ as Lord and King to the Magi. They were the first Gentiles to publicly recognize His Divinity.
Fast forward into modern culture and the word now is known as having an “AHA” moment. That point when things come to a screeching halt in your mind and you are faced with a decision. You understand that enough is enough. Things need to be different. It seems easy enough to claim an epiphany experience. But just like saying the new diet starts tomorrow or no more cigarettes; just saying we had an epiphany doesn’t actually mean we did. Why is that?
If I were to ask most of you what would be one or two things needing to change in your life and why; you would have an answer. We know we need to eat better; exercise more. Get control of our bills/debt. We understand the importance of having safe and healthy relationships. We can logically detail the steps required to make change. But those steps are very steep and slippery. It feels safer on solid and familiar ground. Even if that ground is painful or even destructive. Unfortunately, as humans, we would rather hold on to a familiar ‘bad’ then strike out for an unfamiliar ‘good’. It is very sad when we short change ourselves like that.
And then there is the guilt.
With every great need for change; comes the realization that we are somehow involved, even to blame a bit. In the mix. Contributory. As we shine the floodlight on the problem, inevitably it swings back until we are in view as well. We have to own our part in the mess. And the messier it is, the more likely we are to believe it isn’t worth the trouble to fix. That is flawed processing though and we must fight it. It is ok to recognize your role. Only then can you reverse it.
It appears I may have painted a gloomy Day Of Epiphany. Not my intention at all. But in order to tackle a situation we need to first understand our obstacles. So now that we are prepared; let’s move on and discuss a few epiphanies we all need to have today.
#1 – You Will Never Please Everyone.
Coming from a people pleaser; this is a very hard one to acknowledge. Often the term ‘people-pleaser’ is mis-represented. Like we are in line for saint hood because we want everyone around us to be happy. That’s not always the case. Sometimes we just want to please people so they will leave us alone. Or not cause a scene. Or maybe not have to stand up for ourselves. But whatever the reason, the bottom line is, it is impossible to make everyone happy. That can hurt too, especially if we are trying to please a family member (s). I am a huge family person and I try to do right by all of them. However I am blessed with a great set of kinfolk so it’s easy. I do not believe that just because you have the same DNA as another you must sacrifice who you are to meet their standards if they are unreasonable or detrimental. It can be especially hard to know we have disappointed a parent or our children. I truly understand that each situation is as individual as the sands, but I do want you to embrace the freedom that comes from realizing it is not YOUR job to make everyone happy. It is YOUR job to live your best life as you make this journey. Be true to yourself and walk peacefully. The rest will fall into place.
#2. Your To Do List Will Never Be Completed
I don’t have a hard time with this one. The solution for me is to never HAVE a to do list. But I know that I may be in the minority on this one. Most people I know have an endless daily agenda of things to accomplish. We have reminders on our phone. Cards attached to our fridge. Stickies on the bathroom mirror. We can’t escape it! Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting you forget to pick up your dry cleaning or milk and let the dishes pile up in the sink. But I am here to remind you that child or sweetheart that wants a hug or the friend that needs to talk is just as important. If not more so. We can spend our entire lives “doing” things yet never actually “living”. Checking another task off our list shouldn’t define our worth. Find the balance. Have some fun. Release yourself of the self-imposed sentence of trying to be perfect or Super Woman/Man. You were super just the way you woke up this morning. Learn to believe that.
#3. You Deserve Better (But only if you really do)
I recently listened to a radio talk show host say she hated the phrase; ‘I Deserve Better’. It took me listening for quite a while to understand what she meant. We will flippantly throw out that statement about how we deserve better then what we have. But seldom do we make the right decisions or do the hard work required to actually make ‘better’ happen. If we are content or complacent with what we have or where we are, and just want to complain about it, but not do anything about it, then maybe we do deserve what we have. BUT I submit to you that if you are in a difficult or disagreeable situation, please BELIEVE that you can make a change. And that it IS worth the effort.
There are many examples, but I will use the one of being in an unhealthy relationship. It doesn’t even have to be bad, just not good for you right now. You make excuses. Or rationalize. Blame yourself as mentioned above. Fear of being alone or starting over seems overwhelming. But my dear friends, do not fall for those emotional lies. Do not allow someone to dull your sparkle or block your life’s road. I know it is extremely clique…. But today is the first day of the rest of your life. Choose to take back the control and imagine a brighter future. Stronger Joy. Deeper Connections. More Respect. Even if you have to start over and be alone. There are few things harder or scarier. Trust me, I know. But there are also few things more satisfying then knowing you took care of yourself; your business; your life. That you are strong and capable and amazing. The boost to your inner self is incomparable and will carry you through the uncertain times. I challenge you to test that.
Ok, I have rambled on enough. I guess it should be my epiphany to know when to stop typing. But I hope in some small way I have encouraged someone to take that first step. We play up the concept of epiphanies, as if they are grand and momentous. Suppose they can be. But I find the best way to make a change, is one step at a time. One day at a time. One AHA at a time.
Here’s to your AHA Day!