New Year’s Resolutions:
It’s hard to believe that another new year is coming around. For a long time now I have instinctively rebelled against making New Year’s Resolutions. I never really stopped to think about why I felt this internal rebellion when January 1st came around.
Well this year, I took some time to look deeper into what bothers me about resolutions. For me, I believe that a resolution is something that I have to do better than what I’m doing now. Do I need to do something to look better physically? Do I need to do something to change my behavior? Do I need to do something that will bring in more money, increase my knowledge? Do I need to spend more time doing this, and less time doing that? Or, do I need to stop doing something like binging on pizza?
Then we can go a bit deeper with these questions. Do I need to be kinder? Do I need to stop judging others? Do I need to show more compassion? Do I need to do volunteer work? Do I need to contribute more than what I am contributing now? Do I need to be more spiritual? Do I need to figure out my life’s path?
So, I’ve come to understand why “making New Year’s Resolutions” doesn’t resonate with me. Clearly this is just my perspective, but I believe that there are 2 fundamental reasons. Resolving to “do” better or “be” better feels like what I am right now is not enough. It feels like someone is holding out the measuring stick to determine if “I’m good enough”. Raise the bar with resolutions to be accomplished, and then you’ll be “better than you are right now”. And of course if you “fail” to accomplish your resolution, then you are probably lazy, or lacking will power, or not as nice as you could be.
As I’m writing this, I’m even sounding to myself as someone who is selfish, scared of a challenge, unmotivated, or afraid of failure, in the face of making and carrying out New Year’s Resolutions. Really, I could make a resolution and not tell anybody what it is. Then, if it doesn’t work out, so be it, nobody will be out there holding the measuring stick. Right?
Wrong, wrong, wrong, so wrong. This has nothing to do with anyone out there, but everything to do with who is in here, and I am pointing to my heart. This beautiful child within has spent many years feeling that she didn’t quite measure up to the yardstick. Whether it was getting all A’s , except for that one B, or asking too many challenging questions about the Catholic church, or being too shy, or being too sensitive. We can all think of examples where we didn’t measure up. The point is that growing up with all the conditioning whether from my parents, the church, school, work environment, etc etc., it was very difficult for me not only to figure out who I was, but most especially for it to be “good enough” to just be Who I Am. But let’s go beyond just “good enough”. Being who I am without having to do anything is exactly how I was created, and is exactly how I am seen through the eyes of Spirit, God, Source. We are already that spark of light, that being of love incarnate. If we are the essence of God, then who do we have to become better for? I would claim it is ultimately my own yardstick that is doing the measuring against myself.
So, I have come to understand that for me, making a New Year Resolution’s turns my attention outward instead of inward. That attention outward causes me to separate from the truth of who I am, causes me to hold myself in judgement, causes me to criticize myself, and causes me to focus on what I’m doing wrong, instead of what I’m doing right. It causes me to look at my self through the eyes of the ego, instead of the eyes of Love. It causes me to forget to send light, love, and compassion to myself, to that beautiful being that I am. It causes me to measure myself with that old yardstick filled with the splinters from years of outside negative conditioning, instead of measuring with the deeper wisdom that I am an infinite being of light and love. Using this measurement, there is nothing more that I could do, say, or be that would make me any more precious in the eyes of God.
I call to mind a question posed by Hans Christian King, an amazing spiritual teacher whose teachings I have followed for years. (www.HansKing.com) He asks how you would feel if you woke up one morning and there was nothing you had to do or be? What if you were good enough just as you are? It’s an interesting question, and I can hear the “but, but….. what about this?” I pose this same question to myself. Can I feel such unconditional love and compassion for myself that I am at peace with the allowance of my being just who I am, right here, right now? Can I remember to do this throughout the New Year? No, and do I need to? No. This need not be a New Year’s Resolution. I don’t need to resolve to do this each day throughout 2017. It is something to feel in the here and now. And, in each present moment.
This brings me to my second reason that I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I want to live in the present moment and not be limited by future concerns and expectations. Present mindfulness is the state I desire to be in as much as possible. Future resolutions take me out of the present.
So, it is my declaration, my choice, to banish the word resolution from my vocabulary.
However, I do love the word “intention”. Remember that this is all from my perspective, so bear with me. I’ll remind you how I like to play with words, and I like to see how the energy of the word feels in my body when I say it or hear it. Well, the word “intention” feels really good to me.
It feels grounded in the present moment, it feels creative, and it feels empowering.
Therefore, in this present moment, which is all there ever really is, I hold the intention:
to send love, light, and compassion to this beautiful child of God within my own heart.
that the love that I anchor within my own heart be like a spring that bubbles out to awaken every heart to remember its own love.
to remember and give gratitude for the truth of Who I Really Am and my connection to All That Is.
May you feel in this moment my heartfelt gratitude and love for the gift of your presence in my life. May you continue to touch others with your own light. May you be blessed with peace, joy, and abundance in the New Year !!!!
In love and light,