It’s that time of year when people make resolutions to be better in the New Year; lose weight, quit smoking, exercise more, and on and on. How many people actually keep all their resolutions? I suspect that some do, but many fall by the wayside. So this year I’m not making any resolutions. Instead, I am going to pick a few words to live by for the rest of the year.
This isn’t my idea; a couple of people I follow have suggested it and I think it’s a wonderful idea. So here are my words for the year:
Forgiveness. I will forgive myself when I fall short of my own expectations. I will not berate myself for failing; I am human and am allowed to fall. The trick is to keep getting up and continuing on my way. I will forgive others who hurt me. This doesn’t mean it’s okay that they hurt me, but that I will not hold a grudge against them. We are all human; we will all hurt someone at some time. Someone who hurts me, intentional or not, will still be my friend, unless s/he makes a habit of it then s/he is gone. I will forgive and not hold a grudge, but that person is out of my life.
Gratitude. I will be grateful for every day, for every disaster I experience, for every blessing I receive, for everyone in my life. No matter what happens, I will express my gratitude to others, to myself, and to the Universe and the Creator.
Patience. I will be patient with myself and with others. I will not hold people to my standards unless I am sure they can meet or exceed them.
Encouragement. I will use my daily affirmations to encourage not only myself but also others. I will encourage others to reach their full potential by helping them realize how much they are capable of doing.
Focus. I will keep my focus on the positive things and not the negative. I will not dwell on the bad things that happen because that will only invite more negatives into my life. By keeping my focus positive, I will attract more positives into my life.
So a new year is officially here. Now what? Many consider New Year’s Day as an opportunity for a new start, a clean slate. I think of every day as a new start. Each morning is a new opportunity to do something great. It can be as simple as greeting someone with a smile, even if he/she doesn’t respond. It can be helping someone without being asked. We may never know how what we do affects others. Think back in your own life; do you remember a time when a smile or a helping hand made you feel better? Then pay it forward; every day.
Have you made your Resolutions yet? Instead of resolving to do something you probably won’t continue, how about a New Year’s Revolution? By that I mean do something radical – just take care of yourself, whatever that means for you.
It is only by looking back and reflecting on our lives that we can truly see that we have been given precisely what we needed exactly when we needed it. At the time, we may have ranted and raved and played the ‘why me’ game, but rest assured it was what we needed at that moment to continue our spiritual growth. I know there were times in my own life when I felt deprived, depressed, deserted; but looking back on those times, I have grown and flourished because of those hardships.
Life isn’t all sunshine and roses, except for everyone else. But what we see in others isn’t necessarily true. How often have you admired someone who seemed ‘all together’ only to find out they, too, had times of blackness and despair and feet of clay?
Live your life the way you are meant to live it; don’t live your life according to someone else’s idea of what that life should be. Take time to refresh yourself every day; each day is ours for such a fleeting moment and will never come again – make it count. If today was a disaster, try again tomorrow. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, success is going from failure to failure but never giving up. Eventually, you win.
May 2010 bring you everything you need, exactly when you need it, even if you don’t realize it at the time.