This is year eight of having a word of the year. While in seminary, a friend suggested trying a focus word. So I tried it and the practice has stuck.
It was the right word. Throughout the year, some things changed in my vocational life. And although the change was unexpected, it was right and good. As I reflect, I know that change was part of the RISE I hoped to feel in 2022. It was a year of more healing, of personal growth, of coming into being. There was indeed an increase in intensity and fervor. I also tried to stay above the fray of some intense conversations and conflict.
And while I can’t give you a top 10 list of ways I did indeed RISE in 2022, I end the year feeling content and knowing it was a good word for the year.
This year, important conversations kept me from thinking too much about my new word. It wasn’t even in the forefront of my mind until about a week ago. I kind of thought “hmmm… I wonder what word will be for 2023?” I thought of a few and they just didn’t stick. Then I was reading something and not a word, but a short phrase came into focus. I didn’t want THAT one. Nope. That’s not right.
And it stuck with me. That means it IS the right “word” for me for 2023.
Not “let’s go” or “let it go.” Let go. And precisely because I didn’t want THAT one, I know it is right.
As my kids are maturing, I need to let go of control.
As I continue to heal on my journey to spiritual and emotional health, I need to let go of the hurt.
As I lead others, I need to let go of the outcome.
As I lean into life and leadership coaching, I need to let go of the work that is not mine to do.
Twelve months from now, I look forward to looking back over 2023 and seeing how LET GO was good for me.
I’d love to hear about your word of the year practice! What word (or phrase) will guide you in 2023?