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  • Writer's pictureTravisha Howard

2022 Year End Reflection

A few years ago I heard a message from Pastor Michael Todd. He spoke about having a "bamboo season". The bamboo season is a period of exponential growth. I was extremely excited about this message. I knew for sure, 2019 was my bamboo season. I thought I was going to jump tax brackets and everything. Things didn't align as quickly as I'd hoped, so I questioned weather or not it was actually my bamboo season.


As I reflect at this moment from 2019, I realize I am and have been perfectly aligned.

Alignment doesn't always feel like alignment. Sometimes it feels like uncertainty in combination with peace.

In hind sight I realized that as I attempted to push things forward in my own strength I had forgotten a key part of the message from Pastor Mike. A bamboo tree takes three years to grow. It grows down first, secures its roots then sprouts out of the ground. I feel as though I was planted in 2019, cultivated in 2020, securing my roots in 2021 and I've begun to sprout in 2022. I believe 2023 is a year of full bloom for me and my family. I believe I've learned some valuable lessons this year. I'd like to share those lessons with you.


Motherhood Lessons of 2022

  1. You're never going to be the perfect mother. All that matters is you're doing your best and your child is happy to be around you.

  2. Heal your inner child so that you don't project your traumas and insecurities onto the child/children you birthed.

  3. Allow your child to show you who they are as it relates to their interests and personality traits.

  4. Demystify mommy guilt. If you work, are in school, starting a business, working on yourself or just need some time to yourself, stop feeling guilty because your child misses you when you're gone. The fact that your child misses you is a sign of being an amazing mother.

  5. Set aside time to do things for you. Pamper yourself, pursue your goals, hang out with your friends, pray/meditate and if you're married, continue to date your spouse. These things will "fill your cup". You can't pour from an empty cup.

  6. Allow your child to fail (at some things, use your discretion) so that they build the resilience to keep trying until they get it. This builds their confidence. Doing everything for them can unintentionally damage their self confidence.

  7. Trust your intuition. It instinctively helps you to protect and advocate for your child.

  8. It's okay to accept help. Trust your intuition on who to allow and deny access to your child.

  9. Study your child's nonverbal language. This way you're more in tune with how they interact with people. You'll see who makes them uncomfortable and who they're excited to be around. Some things won't always be obvious, this is why it's important to be in tune with your intuition and trust your gut.

  10. Every child is different. DO NOT COMPARE YOUR CHILD TO OTHER CHILDREN THEIR AGE. Development has a general timeline however, that timeline is not absolute for EVERY child. There are some two year olds who don't speak yet but they know their ABC's, can count to 20, they know their colors, animals and animal sounds. Any sort of "developmental delay" does not disconfirm the intelligence of the child.

  11. Cultivate an environment that caters to your child's learning style and interests while also teaching them independence and effective communication needed for the real world.

  12. Think about the kind of adult you want your baby to be. Tweak your parenting style to plant seeds in them that will harvest in adulthood.

Wife Lessons of 2022

  1. If you are experiencing true love, appreciate it because it IS NOT common. Many people get married but aren't in love with one another. Sometimes it's for optics, convenience, people pleasing, money and/or children. I had to learn to truly appreciate what I have.

  2. Understand the weight of your vows. Vowing to be with someone "for better or for worse, in sickness and health, for richer or for poorer, 'til death do you part" is WORK. You have to study the different versions of your spouse while still learning and unlearning things about yourself. It's very challenging but it's also WORTH IT. It's beautiful and fulfilling. Marriage is AMAZING when the love is real and the work is being done.

  3. The work in marriage is not on the other person. The work is internal. If you are married to the person you're truly destined to be with, you have all that you need within you to deal with whatever comes with them. Oftentimes your strengths are your spouses weaknesses, vice versa. Learn to self improve while balancing each other out.

  4. In moments of disagreement and anger, remember that you and your spouse are on the same team. Attack the problem, not the person.

  5. Communicate relentlessly. Over communicate. Learn to be okay with explaining yourself for the sake of true understanding.

  6. Your spouse copes with life differently than you do. Learn to understand their outlook instead of trying to force your outlook, coping mechanisms and encouragement on to them. Yes, I said encouragement. Your spouse is an individual and receives encouragement differently than you.

  7. Do not depend on your spouse to make you whole. Be a whole, happy and healing individual. Seek your own interests and identity.

  8. Be firm in your boundaries. Allow your yeses to be yeses and you noes to be noes.

  9. Be willing to learn new things from your spouse. Gaining new information and changing your mind on some things does not mean that your spouse is thinking for you.

  10. The best apology is changed behavior.

General Lessons of 2022

  1. It doesn't have to be perfect just get it done.

  2. Do it even when you don't feel like it. You'll be grateful that you pushed through once you see your results. Consistency truly is the KEY!

  3. Everybody can't come with you no matter how much your heart desires to bring them along.

  4. A conversation with the intention to truly understand the other person can work wonders for any relationship whether it be romantic, platonic or familial.

  5. Stop reaching out to people who are committed to demonizing and misunderstanding you.

  6. Take your expectations off of people. Trust them to be who they are.

  7. STAND IN YOUR POWER.

  8. Confidence is also key.

  9. If you ruminate, start journaling. If you already journal, journal more. Dig deeper.

  10. Move your body.

  11. A good stretch routine can work wonders in your body.

  12. If you truly give it your best, insecurity is alleviated.

  13. Less talking, more action.

  14. Stop making excuses.

  15. Stop sleeping on yourself! What are some of the things you need to do but don't want to do? Once you figure this out, do those things.

  16. Nothing will change if you don't.

  17. Your life is a reflection of your discipline or lack thereof.

  18. Consistency truly is the KEY! (I had to say it twice so it sinks in)

  19. Take time to reflect. Sometimes you need to reflect on what you've overcome in order to be more grateful for where you are. Sometimes we get so focused on the future we forget to pat ourselves on the back and thank God for getting to this point.

I hope these lessons can help you on your journey. Continue to bloom.

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