Well 2016 came and went, and the new year brings so much hope. The past couple of days I have been making lists of goals I want to accomplish, and things I learned in 2016. Reflecting back on the last year brings so many emotions. It has really made me start thinking about my life and who I want to be in 2017.

The past year gave me hours of clinical experience, new friendships, a breakup, many adventures, travels, new books to read, new Netflix binges, laughter, tears, hope, joy, enlightenment and love.

Reflecting on everything that happened is eye opening and inspiring. I learned so much and grew so much.

I feel like I am coming to know myself more. I am goofy and random, emotional and sometimes irrational (oops!). I am ambitious and independent. I am loving and affectionate. I am laughter. I am a smile. I am a hug. I am a shoulder to lean on. I am strong, fierce, full of fire. I am motivation. I am a voice in this world. And of all of these things that I am, I love myself more than I ever have. (Yes.. this is me practicing one my goals - "MORE SELF LOVE") And let me tell you something.. nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can take that away. No broken heart, no pessimistic friend, no harsh leader, no terrible boss, can take away your spark, your passion, your will to thrive. All of that is yours to control, to flourish, so don’t let that spark inside you die out.

Here’s some advice for 2017.. some things I’ve learned that may help you with your new year:

1. The Scorekeeper

Sometimes in life you will have a friend who is always a competitor. Everything with that person is always a chance to one up you. If you have a friend like that, you know how disheartening it can be to always be put down by someone who is supposed to be rooting for you. So here’s my advice: If you have a scorekeeper friend, ignore it. They mean well (most of the time) but come off a little aggressive. They’re rooting for you, just rooting for themselves more.. and that’s okay. That’s just how they are, and if they’re really your friend, you have to love them for that. Now if you are the scorekeeper friend, relax. Let’s root for each and watch each other grow. Let’s stand together rather than against each other.

2. The Relationship

If you are ringing in the New Year in an unhappy relationship, LET. IT. GO. You can forgive and forgive and forgive and forgive, but trust is SO hard to truly build back. And don’t lie to yourself about it either. Don’t pretend it’s okay when it’s not. Don’t pretend you’re happy when you’re not. A relationship is not worth your time if it is built on lies. If you ever have to say, “I don’t know,” about a relationship, it means no.. you’re just too scared of hurting that person’s feelings. Breakups are really hard especially when that person is your best friend, but trust me when I say that being in an emotional rollercoaster, wild ride of a relationship is more miserable than any breakup. Just let it go.

3. Forgiveness

So all of that brings me right into forgiveness. Maybe you’ve been the victim of a terrible act, but forgive. We’ve all heard that quote: “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Y’all… that is so true. Just because you forgive, doesn’t mean you have to forget, but at least forgive for your own sake. And if you’re the perpetrator of this terrible act, forgive yourself. Carrying the weight of guilt is something you just cannot live with. It will suffocate you. So forgive and learn from the mistake and be better today than you were yesterday or the many days before.

4. Humanity + Love

This year I want to encourage you to love more. This is one of my main goals for 2017. We live in a scary world that needs God more than ever, so pray for others and love others. Show compassion and grace. We are one humanity so please, please keep the world in your constant prayers.

With all of that being said, I hope you all love yourself this year and learn more about yourself than you ever have. Happy 2017!!

Here are couple videos I have linked that I hope you’ll take a look at:

World Humanitarian Day 2016:

https://youtu.be/RjhPxI3lrJE?list=PLTQ6mrQoN85ehsj6_HpG4AiGca3Dig1h0

Following Heart:

https://youtu.be/JNb5b3hlZQ8?list=PLTQ6mrQoN85ehsj6_HpG4AiGca3Dig1h0