My ‘word’ for 2012: Reflect

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(This post got eaten by WordPress. Tragic. Terribly tragic. It’s okay. I shall write it again! BETTER! Please enjoy my EVEN MORE AWESOME second draft! As usual, all underlined things are links. Click!)

So, there’s a growing trend to skip the resolutions and choose just one single word to represent your goals for 2012. The idea is to create an environment in which your ‘word’ can thrive, and you can work towards it in a variety of ways.

My word this year was inspired by an advertisement for a local store.

Amidst pictures of beautiful beads, lovely boxes, statues, and jewelry, there was a small quote, an accent piece, really. The font is tiny, the name almost unreadable. It says:

“There are two ways of spreading light- to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.”

It’s credited to Deb Dewit Marchant, as far as I can tell.

My whole life, I’ve been told that I absorbed what surrounds me. That I’m a mushroom. That I’m tofu. (These are both foods that absorb the flavors of whatever they’re steeped in, instead of having a bold flavor of their own.)

While I do believe that I have a mild flavor of my own, (much like tofu and mushrooms!), it’s true that I do take on the behaviors and traits of the people around me. I am, after all, a bit of a sheep- or maybe not a sheep, so much as a pack animal. I’m susceptible to propaganda, to mob mentality, to knee jerk reactions based on opinions that have little basis in facts because someone told me to believe and I did.

I’m not saying these things to brag. They’re not something I’m proud of.

They are not, however, going to be what shapes me this year. Instead, I’m going to actively choose my ‘flavor’.

I say this because I have been thinking of myself all wrong. Instead of thinking “I absorb whatever’s around me, I need to be more independent, I need to make myself be unique and be better, I’m not good enough the way I am, I’m flawed because of this horrible trait of mine” the above quote made me stop and think, “What if that -is- my purpose? What if my tendency to amplify and feed back what I’m surrounded by -is- my gift? What if instead of absorbing, I… reflect?”

To reflect. Webster defines it as “To throw back light or sound”. It’s also defined as “To think quietly and calmly; to express an opinion resulting from reflection; and to have bearing or influence.”

It sounds like a good idea for the year, yes? I’m going to go about it in just that order. First, find a light to reflect, and then think on it. Dwell on it, read it, study it. Fill myself with that light. Then, I’m going to express that light to everyone around me, and in doing so hopefully influence them with that light.

I read some beautiful blogs- like this one, this one, this one, and this one. These women fill me with joy, love, light, beauty, and peace. I read them and I feel like I can be a loving person, a patient person, someone who pays attention and that lights up other people’s lives.

I also read a few authors who do that for me. I watch anime and movies that make me say “I want to be like her!”

So this year, instead of absorbing negativity from around me, I’m going to surround myself with people who inspire me to be who I want to be, and I’m going to reflect them.

After all, one candle can only do so much- but with enough mirrors, a single candle can fill a whole room with it’s light!

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