A Hate/Love Situation?
I don’t think I am unique in my views on New Years resolutions. A new year is like a brand-new blank page. It is brimming with the emptiness of infinite possibilities. We feel on the brink. We can take the opportunity to close the door on last year’s disappointments, failures, and challenges and simultaneously open the door to a fresh start.
I think my dislike of the tradition of resolutions was born of failure. I have taken my health for granted for most of my life. That has led to some bad decisions which have impacted my body, my health, and my life. I have been overweight all of my life. Food is my primary addiction. It is my anesthetic, my comfort, the way I tell myself I am loved – while actually fueling an abundance of negative consequences. Due to my weight, exercise has rarely been enjoyable for me. In my youth I was also addicted to cigarettes. Those three vices alone have resulted in … let me see, I am 60, so I would estimate somewhere around 55 years of broken resolutions – each one resulting in a boomerang effect that not only shot me down but caused me to bounce deeper into dependence on the crutch I sought to leave behind.
If I Leave Behind the Hate…
The last few years, I have been too busy just putting one foot in front of the other to even consider resolutions. I take it as a good sign that today finds me even contemplating the concept. I find today that as I consider the past year and myself within it, I am able, for the very first time, to look back with gentleness. Did I make the best choice in every situation. HELL NO! Does that mean I failed? Absolutely not. This brand-new ability to forgive myself and evaluate shortfalls in a realistic light has helped me to realize that even the times that I didn’t/couldn’t/or wouldn’t make the best choice I still learned and grew. That makes even the ‘failures’ their own unique victories.
When I remove the failure, I leave behind the fear – which is the root of all manner of unlove. Standing in the bright light of this new year I am choosing to stand tall and let fear slough off me like the decades of filth and contamination it is. You can bet I am not going to dodge all the fear spit-balls life lobs at me, but I am going to strive for the wisdom to seek the love that will allow me to wash off the fear grime before it attaches itself to me (I can’t help but picture that Peanuts character Pigpen here – seems like a fitting symbol).
There is More Room for Love
My resolution statement today is not one of absolutes – it is one of trying (Yoda might be disappointed in me but I’m not!). The statement is simply, “I resolve to act in life-affirming ways, making loving, healthy choices for myself and others as often as I can.”
No, Yoda – by choosing not to say, “I will”, I am not planning to fail. Instead, I am accepting that even in missing the mark, I am still making progress. I’m not resolving to write every day – but I’m going to try to write every day that would be beneficial to my well-being. I’m not resolving to lose “x” number of pounds or keep my carb intake below “x” – instead I resolve to eat in ways I know will benefit my body while still enjoying treats occasionally. I don’t resolve to exercise “x” times per week; however, I do intend to treat my body to the movement it needs to fuel itself (both muscle and mind) in all manner of ways.
Likewise, I am setting forth to remember the benefits of journaling, meditation, tapping and spending time with friends. I intend to find ways to remind myself to reach for these actual proofs of self-love rather than for the false balms I have chosen in the past. Most importantly, I promise to turn to curiosity and acceptance when faced with disappointment in myself and others.