Many people subscribe to the belief that the number 13 is an unlucky number due to many of the myths which enforce the notion. For instance, most major airlines, if not all of them, bypass this number in the seating arrangements for their flights. And you can forget about a 13th floor in many high rise apartments as well as other buildings; no one wants to be on that floor in case something bad happens. And where do we put things that we don’t want anymore? Oh yeah… File 13!
But the reality is, this is the year 2013 and it will remain so for the next 365 days. Thus, I refuse to subscribe to these beliefs associated with the unlucky number 13. I just can’t accept that due to the longstanding tradition of this unlucky number, that I have to experience an entire year of misery. If you would like to join me, continue to read so that you can see the 13 promises to make to yourself, to be sure that 2013 is your best year yet.
1. Love Yourself –
I know. As women, we are supposed to love, nourish, and protect other people… Not ourselves… That would be selfish… Right?
Oh so NOT TRUE! As women, not only should we love ourselves, but we should love ourselves first. You see, in order for us to love others, we have to first love ourselves. Only once we are able to do this, can we most effectively give love to others in the way in which we desire. Think of it like this… If you only have a small amount of love for yourself… say maybe 10 percent, then you can only pull from that 10 percent of love to share with someone else. But if you have a larger amount of self-love, let’s say 85 percent, then you can pull from that amount of love to give to someone else. Why not aim for more self-love so that you can have more to share with those who you love.
2. Treat Yourself –
Similar to the concept of loving yourself, you’ve got to treat yourself. This is important because being you isn’t easy. I know that you’ve had your own share of heart ache and pain. As if the bad times aren’t difficult enough, the day – to – day functioning of being you, just isn’t an easy lifestyle. Take the time to do something nice for yourself. Research indicates that the more that a behavior gets positively reinforced, the more likely the behavior is to be repeated. Hence treat yourself for the accomplishments that you make (no matter how big or small) so that these things can be reinforced and get the support that you deserve.
3. Forgive Yourself –
You’re not perfect. If you’re like the rest of us, you have probably made poor choices, embarrassed yourself, or shamed not only yourself, but your family and friends. Trust me, it won’t be the last time that you do it either. Sometimes, however, when we have these shortcomings, we stay “stuck” in this feeling of self-loathing much longer than we have to. Everyone experiences this at some point in time, whether they want to admit it or not. The quicker you brush yourself off and start again, the better off things will be. I’ve also noticed that forgiving yourself will not only foster a healthy avenue for healing, but it will also place you in a position where things of this matter are less likely to occur in the future.
4. Be Honest with Yourself –
Now, we’re talking hard stuff. Lying to ourselves is one of the biggest problems that women do. I know that we all have a certain ego to maintain… but really… the best way that we can go about maintaining it is to lie to ourselves? By doing this, we are bringing far more damage to ourselves then whatever challenges the truth may bring. Lying to yourself doesn’t change the situation, make the situation better, or relieve you from any long term consequences of the truth. After all, Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool. ~ Proverbs 19:1
5. Trust Yourself –
Many women prohibit their own progress because they do not understand the magnitude of their strength. Each and everyone one of you were created with wisdom and clarity and it is through these mystical features that you we are intended to live a meaningful life. Trust yourself… believe in yourself… and satisfy your dreams.
Each woman has a 6th sense inside of her. It’s called an intuition. A woman’s intuition acts as her direct channel to God and was created to lead her in the way that she should go. Evidence of this can be found in Acts 17:28, which reads as follows: In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ Our intuition is our sacred connection to a higher power and it is a gift from God. Hence, it’s our personal responsibility to follow it.
6. Praise Yourself –
All women are beautiful… no matter how they look. Their sensitivity is beautiful, the way that they give love is beautiful, the way that they get things done is beautiful, the way that they take care of the people in their lives is beautiful, and the list continues. Praise yourself for it. Sometimes, people don’t know just how much we go through to hold things together in our lives. If only they knew, they’d probably be praising us from the roof tops. But the issue is not about whether or not other people know our self-worth. It’s about whether or not we know it. By giving ourselves praise where praise is do, we are acknowledging our own strengths, challenges, and defeats. We exercise our own ability to recognize ourselves and we set the standard for showing the world, just how special we really are.
7. Take Care of Yourself –
I know you’re busy. You got the man, the job, and the kids… you don’t have time to eat healthy, go to the gym, or join a support group. There’s just too many obligations!
As with everything else that we have discussed thus far, you have to take care of yourself first! When you nurture, support, and promote yourself, not only do you feel better, but you have more to offer towards others. The act of taking care of yourself is not a selfish mindset that prohibits your ability to take care of others Rather, it is a purposeful and intentional strategy that promotes self-care, so that in return you can most effectively care for others.
8. Respect Yourself –
Women are the most gentle, nurturing, and supportive creatures on earth, and we play a huge role in promoting our society as a whole. Evidence of this is reflected by the way that we leave our graceful touch on our marriages, parenting, the work force, politics, etc. But despite our meaningful qualities, we women are also some of the most disrespected people on earth. Evidence in supportive of this are the various forms of abuse that we experience as indicated by sexual and domestic violence. Lack of respect for women is also enforced by the plethora of word choices that are utilized to demean one another. Examples of this include words such as cunt, hoe, and bitch. These are no masculine equivalent words which exudes as much disgrace as these, and therefore words of this matter are the most likely one’s to be utilized to disrespect others.
Women deserve to be respected as much, if not more than others, because we make the world go around. One reason that this is often difficult for others to see, is because we often fail to respect ourselves. As women, we have a moral obligation not to sabotage other ourselves, or other women. Instead, we should uplift and empower women, and we should do this by first starting with ourselves. Once we are able to begin respecting ourselves first, other people will respect us in return.
9. Know Yourself –
Now you may be thinking… know yourself? Of course I know myself. But in this regard, I don’t mean to know things about yourself like your name, your social security number, or your birth date. These straightforward characteristics do not describe the REAL YOU. These are only minor details that define who you are. The art of knowing yourself requires significantly more details.
To really know yourself, you take the time to answer questions which are similar to the following:
Do you know why you are who you are today?
Why do you do the things you do?
What are your likes?
What are your dislikes?
These are but a few of the many things about you that contributes to who you are as a person. I encourage you to take the time to come to terms with who you really are. Then live a life that authentically takes into consideration, this improved knowledge of yourself. It’s important to recognize, however, that this promise should be approached with awareness that this is not a feat that could ever be accomplished in its entirety. Rather, it is a continuous project without a definite ending.
10. Inspire Yourself –
As women, inspiring others is second nature to us. Come one, what do you do when you see someone else crying, a child being hurt, or your significant other upset. We say or do something inspiring for them! But with us being the queens of inspiration for others, usually men and children can’t compare. When this happens, we have to be a source of inspiration to ourselves.
Now I think inspiration varies from one person to the next, but basically, inspiration means anything that encourages a person to do and or feel better about some element of their lives. Inspiration is so important, because we all need support, no matter how strong we are. Inspiration can be found by using a variety of resources including but not limited to self-help books, motivational speakers, and journaling. Honestly, it doesn’t matter how you get inspired, just do it. Because if you’re not doing something to inspire yourself, you and the other people that which you inspire will also suffer.
11. Court Yourself –
No matter whether or not you are single, dating, or married, courting is very important. And though our partners (or lack thereof) usually have the best intentions, sometimes they miss the mark. It’s our responsibility to give ourselves the level of affection that we desire, irrespective of our relationship circumstances.
Examples of ways that you can court yourself are as follows: going to the movies, getting a manicure/pedicure, or going to a nice restaurant. Basically anything that you can do for yourself and with yourself that will make you feel like the queen that you are is an example of courting yourself. What are you waiting on? Give yourself the courtship that you deserve!
12. Be True to Yourself –
I am a big believer in the mindset of “when you know better, you do better.” But sometimes, this is difficult to do, especially on sensitive issues. Examples of this include concerns such as social issues. The problem about learning about social issues, is that you become enlightened. Then you have a moral responsibility to adhere to responding to those social issues accordingly. When you do this, you create a wholesome and pure person, who is true to themselves. However, failure to do so, by following through with the crowd and not being “true to yourself”, defies this and creates space for defensiveness, ignorance, and even worst, betrayal. When one is true to themselves, I mean really true to themselves, they are willing to do the right thing, even if it is inconsistent with what society would have then to do. The person might not be the most popular person in the bunch, but they will experience internal relief and everlasting happiness from their decision to be truthful.
13. Pray for Yourself –
If you are like me, you have a lot of people to be responsible for when you are going down your prayer list. Sometimes, by the time it gets to you, you feel exhausted and worn out. But by praying for yourself, you alleviate yourself from many of life’s stressors. By eliminating yourself from the stressors of the world, you can most appropriately be available for others.
All women have a purpose; however, each purpose may vary from one person to the next. True happiness is found in living that purpose. Since God gave you that purpose, through God you must find that purpose. Hence, your prayer life, though useful for asking for things that you desire, should primarily be centered on what it is that YOU can do to benefit humanity. Ask God how to use you, and live your life accordingly. In doing so, not only will you have a good year, but an everlasting future.
For me, it’s easy to realize how important the number 13 is. My mother is the 13th child! But for many others, the number 13 is met with dread, anxiety and fear. Don’t confirm the myth of the unlucky number 13 by allowing this 13th year to succumb to its misfortune. If you follow these values, then I am confident that you can challenge this discouraging myth, and make 2013, your best year yet. Happy New Year!