The end of December…it seems the whole world is reflecting on this past year and thinking about what 2011 will bring. People making resolutions, contemplating, hoping, and wanting change…
I can’t speak on behalf of the world, for the purpose of this blog I”ll give only my own reflections about resolutions.
I remember December 31st rolling around and the sound of my own voice declaring,“ Maybe next year will be better!” “ Maybe things will change!” “ Maybe I’ll figure it out!” I always saw the new year as a new beginning, a new possibility, and felt in way, filled with hope with a slight underlying feeling of fear.
I remember filling journals with affirmations and my intentions, and writing lists of all that I wanted for the new year. “ I want a happy, loving relationship.” “ I want to be positive and be around positive people.” “ I want to make more money.” “ I want a job that makes me feel fulfilled.”
I remember ( to psyche myself up and try to feel better) at times writing in the tense as if many of these things already existed, ” I attract loving people in my life” ” I have all the money I need.” For a while this was helpful, but I have to admit that at times I heard my own voice sarcastically saying, ” Yeah right!”
…and yes, I remember writing those New Years Resolutions “ I wont let people or situations bother me!” “ I’ll get more organized!” “ I’ll balance my checkbook!” “ I won’t eat crappy food!” “ I’ll exercise more!”
I wrote about all that I was grateful for in my life, and I wrote about all that I wanted to change. I look back now and see how often I repeated myself when I wrote in my journals. I also see how often I was sad or disappointed that things had not played out how I wanted them to.
I have years and years of filled journals. I store them in a bedside drawer. Reading some of them today I am able to see the purpose they served for me, and I also see where they fell short for me.
Writing in those journals did allow me to freely express my feelings, my fears, hopes, and my dreams. Journaling put into words what I wanted and did not want in my life. It did bring clarity to the areas in my life where I was settling or compromising by shining a light on all that made me unhappy there. Journaling was partly a way to release, at least on paper. I’m so glad for that.
But all of the words of gratitude, affirmations, and written intentions of how I wanted or even pretended life could be, were not enough to actually create change in my life, I see this so clearly now. I didn’t then. Sometimes I saw no light at the end of the tunnel.
Resolutions were meaningless blurbs. Words without action, taking me nowhere. They were my well meaning written intentions to change what I was living, but that is all they were…intentions. I grew tired of intentions. There was a point in my life where I simply felt stuck.
One day I became brutally honest with myself.
I faced my reality head on. It sucked. I was angry, sad, even afraid at times, these were my true and very real emotions. No hiding from them. In a weird way this felt freeing. No pretending, no tough girl, no fighting for how it “should” be. There was a slight ease in this.
Although I had written many affirmations and intentions about being happy, I had never really accepted that I was unhappy, instead I shouted or silently thought that, “ Life shouldn’t be that way!”
Within all that I had written, back then I never once wrote about or explored acceptance, ( it was mostly non-acceptance) and I see now that this is where my journals and what I was expressing in them fell short and left me feeling stuck.
There is so much more to say and share about the how ACCEPTANCE played and still plays such a role toward change in my life ( and I will) but for now I feel with New Years so near, the timing is so right to talk about New Years Resolutions
So what are my thoughts about New Years Resolutions?
To me, a New Years Resolution is like saying maybe or I’ll try.
The way that I live my life now, actions speak louder than my words, talking the talk is not enough. In any moment either I will or I won’t do something, either I am or I’m not, and I like the simplicity of this. Where ever I am in the moment, I’ve been practicing being more gentle and less judgmental with myself if I happen to be in a not so good feeling place.
It comes down to: How do I feel? What do I want? What do I choose?
I’m letting go of maybe and I’ll try, because living feels like being and doing, not trying, and not maybe. This is how I am brutally honest with myself, and yet it is the most simple and most free I have ever been.
I’ve written a poem in honor of New Years Resolutions and my expression toward them.
Maybe Next Year
I’ve got the solution, a New Years Resolution!
maybe next year I’ll take that vacation
maybe next year I’ll find a new job
maybe next year everything will be better
maybe next year I’ll discover true love
maybe next year I’ll cut down on drinking
maybe next year I’ll get more rest
maybe next year I’ll eat more nutritious
maybe next year I’ll give up cigarettes
maybe next year I’ll read that book
maybe next year I’ll learn a new skill
maybe next year I’ll make some changes
maybe next year, maybe I will
maybe next year I’ll feel more inspired
maybe next year I’ll be more organized
maybe next year I’ll give more to charity
maybe next year , maybe I’ll try!
maybe next year I’ll be more selfish
maybe next year I’ll make more time for me
maybe next year my life will be different
maybe next year, maybe we’ll see….
Even as children we knew
that when our parents said, maybe
That is was highly unlikely
and that’s why we cried.
Funny how we forget, just pretend, even hide
behind New Years Resolutions.
This is my entry for One Shot Wednesday