Wednesday January 16, 2019 By: Dina Al-Mahdy
Lately, I’ve been wishing for lots of things.
A little too much.
In fact, the pressure I’ve put on these wishes has not just created a big gap between expectations and reality, but pierced that gap in its entirety to fall right back on me.
Today, I’d like to stop pushing.
The way I’m going to try to do that is by retiring these wishes. I’ll alleviate them from their nonexistent duties and fictitious responsibility to make me happy.
Instead, I’d like to make a wish for you.
As 2018 comes to an end, I hope you forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made over the past year, for not following through on some of the goals you swore you were going to achieve, for not reaching the milestones you entered the year longing to achieve.
I hope you are kind to yourself. I hope you stop counting all of your mistakes and start counting your accomplishments.
You might not have completed every resolution. You might not have earned the success you dreamed about. But you grew into a new person this year. You learned so much this year. You should be proud of yourself for that.
My wish for you is that you forget to bring your baggage along with you into 2019. I hope you walk into the year with an open heart. I hope you give yourself the honor of a clean slate.
As 2018 comes to an end, I hope you stop thinking about the toxic people you cut out of your life these last few months. I hope you learn to accept that they are no longer in your life for a reason, and you are better off without their anchors. I hope you can forgive them enough to move on from them, but not enough to make the same mistake twice.
Above all, I hope you find new people to surround yourself with, people who will love you and respect you despite your quirks, people who would never dare to hurt you, because they mean it when they say they care.
My wish for you is that when you wake up with a headache, you’ll have the freedom to take it slow for the day. To throw your plans out the window, no matter how noble or seemingly important. That you’re not swayed by the pressure to perform—not for a job you don’t like all that much, and especially not for a job that you love. So that you can rest and start over, because tomorrow is always another day.
As 2018 comes to an end, I hope you stop stressing over the “what-ifs” you can no longer change. I hope you learn to accept your past and move on from it. I hope you stop torturing yourself with thoughts about what you should have done differently these last few months and start focusing on how you are going to do better in the future. I hope you look forward instead of behind. I hope you remember you cannot change what happened yesterday, but you are in complete control of what happens tomorrow.
My wish for you is that you won’t daydream about how you can meet that perfect guy or girl. That you’ll find the courage to say the things you want to say, do the things you want to do, and let the truth that transpires have its day.
You’re unique, worthy, and wonderful. May your authentic light shine so brightly that it’ll attract the right person.
As 2018 comes to an end, I hope you stop comparing where you are this year to where you were last year. I hope you realize that—whether you feel like you took 10 steps forward this year or 10 steps backward—you have nothing to be ashamed about. Some years go better than others. You will gain things and you will lose things. You will climb the mountain, and then you will slide back down. I hope you are not too hard on yourself about the path you took these past 12 months. I hope you still love yourself—even on the days you doubt yourself.
My wish for you is that when the maze of work, of love, of life becomes too foggy, you’ll be your own best friend. I hope you’ll always have people that are there for you. But even more so, I hope you’ll always be there for yourself. Console yourself. Listen. Give yourself the right advice. And, most importantly, rest. Maybe tomorrow, the fog will lift.
As 2018 comes to an end, I hope you remember next year does not have to be a repeat of this year. You can restart the resolutions you lost track of lately. Or you can set completely new goals for yourself. You can create any kind of year you want. It is entirely up to you.
My wish for you is that when you read a book or watch a movie or go on vacation, you’ll learn to not judge yourself for it. There’s no need to feel ashamed. Without shame, there can be no regret. Even guilt is just a tool to show us we did something wrong. Don’t let it become a ghost that haunts you wherever you go.
My wish for you is that, given the choice, you’ll choose the peace of quietness over the noise of success, power, and fame. That you’re not tempted to chase whatever can be counted because, in the end, that’s often the only thing we end up doing—tracking numbers. Life isn’t measured mathematically. There’s so little it accounts for, yet we rely on it so much.
My wish for you is that when life pulls you in all kinds of directions, you’ll take the breath it takes to look deep inside and find the “no” you want to find. No matter who or what inundates you with requests, questions, or opportunities. What truly matters is that your “yes,” whoever shall be grateful enough to receive it, comes right from the heart.
My wish for you is that you won’t fall apart when your plans do. That you won’t allow the beautiful act of organized preparation to become one of quietly suffered depression. Regardless of our schemes, God always has bigger plan for us. We’re more than pinballs in a machine, but sometimes, even the best of our intentions fall through the cracks.
My wish for you is that you’ll wake up from the endless nightmare of pleasing everyone. Because for every person you make happy, another falls by the wayside. I want a world in which you dare to love yourself enough to take care of your own happiness first. Always. Only then can your compassion flow freely toward others. Without expectation. Because kindness anticipating return is just leverage— and pressure lies only a few letters from oppression.
My wish for you is that in all of life’s longest fights, you’ll be able to tell the ones in vain from the ones worth fighting. Even if they take decades. Even if on a lost cause, a decade was already spent. Few struggles are worth preserving. But for the ones that are, may you never surrender.
My wish for you is that, when you’re burdened with a tough decision and you’re not sure if you know yourself enough to make it, you’ll step inside the void of solitude where you’ll find the answers. Life without music, without TV, without distractions, lovers, friends — even family — is scary. But every now and then, it’s the exact hole we must fall, no, jump into before we can take our next step.
My wish for you is that when you look up at the stars, you’re not lost in the hopes of tomorrow or the regrets of yesterday. That, if only for a few seconds, you’ll gaze into the sky and just be. Be silent, be still, be amazed at this magic life that found its way into your tiny existence in this gigantic universe.
My wish for you is that when you get lost in all the wishes you make for yourself, you’ll find your way back to wishing more for others.
More so, I set my heart on you sharing those wishes with them. We’re all in someone’s corner, but unless we tell them, how could they know?
I hope now you do.
Photos credit to Dina Al-Mahdy. To view her writings and photographs, visit Dina Al_Mahdy’s website here
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