It is January 3rd and already my resolution to make adjustments to how I want to be in this new year are being tested. How about you…did you make a New Year’s resolution or two? Did you remember to plan for the near constant interference of your “old self” on what you are trying to build in your “new self”? It is hard work. Oh, beautifully flawed human self why do you make it so hard to be good? So, where does that leave our New Year’s resolutions? On a very tricky path, with no support rail, unless we should choose to build that for ourselves first.
Some light on this path would be better still, as things get dark and murky quite quickly here in the “new”. It feels rewarding to be open to what is different, fresh, altruistic and it is an accomplishment to be celebrated. Looking deeply into the nooks and crannies of self is daunting, so when you come out with a realization that there is something you feel empowered to tackle it is a very empowering thing. There is much research around how good we feel when we make a decision to embrace a positive change, to quit smoking, eat better, buying the gym membership (because putting it on the credit card shows real commitment). All those good feelings may in fact make us feel so good we ride those for a while and don’t do the thing we said we would do…crashing down to reality with shame, self-loathing and a deepening (via a non-refundable, unbreakable, one-year contract) sense of debt - both morale and financial.
The New Year’s resolution hang-over.
So, back to the light. Start where you are, with the assumption you are perfect the way you are right now. You are valued, valuable and worthy. Everyone is flawed, so you are imperfectly perfect, which is really a thing. You don’t get very far only seeking out your flaws, because you end up in “fix it” mode, where there is no compassion, only urgency (quick, get on that flaw and fix it before your resolve collapses…). It’s the third day of the New Year and I have shifted my resolution. I am going to be compassionately honest with myself. In his book Consolations, David Whyte writes “Every human being dwells intimately close to a door of revelation they are afraid to pass through. Honesty lies in understanding our close and necessary relationship with not wanting to hear the truth.” (page 117).
Explore your relationship to your truth by being honest with yourself. Start with the mental chatter that arose when you read “You are valued, valuable and worthy.” (yes, even from here I could hear what you said to yourself…and what you didn’t). Only when we are willing to compassionately and consistently look at our truth will we be in a position to leverage our strengths, building something that does not set us up for a fall. When we work with honesty in our truth there is no support rail needed, it’s already there. Start with compassionate honesty, because only then will you be able to be the change you want to see in the world, this year and every year that follows.
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." ~ Rita Mae Brown
(as correctly attributed at https://www.businessinsider.com/misattributed-quotes-2013-10)
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I believe in giving back to others in many tangible ways. When I learn something new, or see something that might help others, I share it using my blog and website. You can always find my latest blog entries here, on Facebook or Linked In.