2011 in ONE Word

Alright, woo hoo! Managing to get another post in within a month! Perhaps I CAN do better at this!

One of the latest posts on the Compassion International blog is about choosing a word for the new year (http://blog.compassion.com/in-one-word-2011-will-be-about/). One of Compassion’s staff members posted about how for the last few years he’s prayerfully chosen a word to represent the new year and the things to accomplish.

While I was reading the post and reading some of the replies to the post, including other people’s blogs, the one word that kept coming to my mind was “Open”.

At first, I thought about it in terms of being open to new ideas, new cultures, to learning things about people who are “different” from me. Given that I live in a very diverse area of the nation, that’s a reasonable conclusion to come to and I do believe that I’m being challenged to be open in that way, but not JUST in that way/area.

But, the more I thought about the word, the more I felt as though I was being challenged to be more open in other areas as well. I feel as though I’m being challenged to being more open to change, not only in areas such as economical changes (i.e. job changes/location changes/etc.) but also changes in physical health and appearance, emotional changes and spiritual changes. I also feel that I’m being challenged to be a more open person and to share more with friends and family.

I have no illusions that this is going to be an easy challenge. I’m not a very open person by nature. I’ve been burned too many times before so unless it’s through postings on blogs or other places that have a slight feeling of anonymity, I don’t share much about what I’m feeling and who I am. Part of that is because I do have mental health issues (I do not call them problems or an “illness” because I do not believe I need to be “cured”). Those issues do cause me to be more cautious with what I share about myself.  In fact, I know that part of the reason that I’ve never been too anxious or eager to lose weight and do other things to change my physical appearance is because it does put a barrier between myself and the rest of the world.

And while I know that many people are not big on change, I have even a more adverse reaction to it than most, including being prone to panic attacks if things change too quickly for me.

But, I’m going to graduate with my master’s degree in December and the odds of me being able to get a job in my career field in the library system I currently work for is fairly slim. The jobs there just aren’t opening up. This means that I’m probably going to have to go to work for another library system and possibly even have to leave southeastern Michigan if I can’t find a job here. So, I need to start getting used to that idea.

I also believe I’m being challenged to be more open spiritually which is also not going to be easy as I have a lot of anger and hostility towards God that I’m going to have to deal with if I’m going to be more open to things in that area.  There are a lot of things from my childhood that I’m going to have to deal with if I want to successfully be more open to spiritual things and that’s not going to be easy.

But, I truly believe that this is the challenge that has been set before me for 2011. So, I’m going to embrace the challenge and see what happens this year as I strive to be more “Open” in every aspect of my life.

I’m going to try and write posts about the journey as we go along this year and share the experiences I’m having with being more open to the world around me and within myself.

If you decide to take the challenge and choose a word for 2011, I’d love to hear what your word is and why you chose it!

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