Learn to Lean

Here we are at the end of another year. I remember a time when the year 2020 seemed so far away, and now, we are nearly there! There is a natural inclination at the end of every year to reflect back on what we’ve accomplished, what we didn’t get done, what challenges we’ve faced and what is ahead in the year to come.

For many people, the year may have been one they wish to forget, and for others, it could have been the best year of their life. And that’s because we tend to gauge everything based on our circumstances. Everything we feel is decided upon by what has happened to us or around us. If our candidates weren’t chosen for office, if someone in our family became ill or if our spouse lost their job, that determined whether or not we had a good year, even though the circumstances didn’t last all year long.  It’s only natural that our lives reflect a roller coaster at times because there is always so much happening. It’s difficult to stay neutral, but I believe it’s possible, depending on which way you lean.

If you lean towards always seeking to be independent and do everything yourself, then you will lean towards always riding a constant wave of emotion due to circumstances. This will have an effect in some way on those around you. Children especially crave stability. We think they don’t, but having a constant in their life is actually helpful to their well-being. That’s why little babies do so well on a schedule. They have no other way to express their needs except through crying. According to pediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann, editor-in-chief of The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones, “Babies like to know that [certain things will happen] at a certain time each day.” Stability brings a level of comfort to most people.

It’s not much different as we grow older. We all lean toward that comfort in knowing that regardless of what happens to or around us, we are going to be okay because we love each other and can depend on each other. That’s the message we need to communicate to our loved ones. While it’s okay to be upset about something that is happening or feel sad because someone is sick or has died, we also need to know that it’s possible to have peace and joy in the midst of those circumstances when we lean on each other.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t show emotions when you feel them—instead, I’m asking you to consider how much you are dwelling in them or how much of it is the result of you trying to control everything that is happening. Do you find yourself leaning on others for help, or do you try to do it all on your own? That’s often the issue and reason for your stress and heightened emotions. We can’t do it all on our own. We need the help and support of our family and friends rather than taking pride in independence.

In this next year, I want you to learn to lean towards others and experience more moments of peace in your life because you aren’t carrying any load alone. That will help you become more emotionally stable and reflect more positively in your family’s life. As a result, you will win more often at home.