Attorney Suzanne ShinnOkay. So here we are. Another new year and many of us hear all the noise in our minds about what it’s going to take to make this year the most successful year ever!

BUT…….sometimes we can’t get past the louder noise in our minds…..all of the failures and regret from last year and years before. We all have a tendency to rehearse over and over again where we missed it or came up short. Our minds bark out “if only I had done…” or “I can’t believe I didn’t…..” Or, even worse, I call them the “threatening three: woulda, shoulda, coulda”. You know what I’m talking about. And I’ll be completely honest here…..you are reading from a junkie! Yes, I’ll admit it. I am a junkie.

I used to be the worst kind of junkie: a self focused, perfectionist junkie. I would rehearse in my mind all of the ways that I’d failed to measure up (to my own standards which were the most stringent) and go over and over all of these unanswerable questions. I wanted everything in my world to be just right, always right…perfect even. And, if things weren’t right, I would be analyzing trying to figure out what went wrong. Also, as a perfectionist junkie, that meant what everyone else saw had to be perfect, which is completely exhausting.

However, some years ago, I turned a corner. By God’s good grace, I began to understand and take to heart that life is not perfect and it’s never going to be. Because all of us are imperfect and that’s exactly what makes living so wonderful. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 15:10,
“But by the grace of God I am what I am and His grace toward me was not for nothing.”

In fact, Paul could write these words only because he had a deep understanding of the grace that is offered to us by God Himself. That’s the whole point of grace and why Jesus (the only perfect One to ever live) came in the first place. To give a whole bunch of imperfect people like us a go ahead to live life being imperfect. Jesus didn’t come to the earth and die on the cross for perfect people (or for people trying to act perfect). He came and died for all of the unjust, unrighteous and absolutely worst of the worst. All because of His great and gracious love for us.

And that’s the point of my admission to being a (perfectionist) junkie. Just like the Apostle Paul who started out looking perfect on the outside but being a mess on the inside…..in this new year, let’s really become new…..just like Paul wrote about later in 2 Corinthians 5:17,
“Therefore, if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” (Amplified)

What great news! We do not have to carry around old baggage from years gone by. We don’t have to even open those bags again. Picture this with me: We are on a cruise ship sailing along and taking all of the baggage of previous years, all of the failures and regrets, all of the mistakes and “woulda, shoulda, couldas” and throwing them overboard. All of our baggage would be so heavy it would sink immediately and the currents deep in the ocean would wash those bags to a world far away never to be seen again.

My sincere hope is that your new year can begin just like this….throwing all of that old baggage overboard. When you do, life becomes more restful, peaceful and just plain “simpler”.

If you are burdened by financial distress or problems, perhaps one of the attorneys at Bond and Botes can help you. Please don’t let another day pass bearing your burdens alone. Call today and schedule a free appointment to discuss getting on your way to tossing out the failures and regret and walking into your bright new future.

Suzanne Carlson Shinn
Written by Suzanne Carlson Shinn

Suzanne Shinn is a shareholder of several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama and Mississippi. She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and a Juris Doctorate from the Birmingham School of Law. She joined the Bond & Botes team in 1992 as its first associate attorney and has been helping clients navigate the bankruptcy process ever since. Read her full bio here.

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