The ball descends, the wild bells ring out and the minute hand moves to 12. This is the moment when we choose to celebrate renewal, rebirth and rejuvenation. In this moment, we are hopeful. We reflect. We have resolve. And then, for too many of us, the moment fades and along with it the hope and resolve for lasting change.
Like you, with the stroke of midnight, as another year slipped away, the limitless potential of a new beginning rose before me. Yet, as I recognized that potential, I also knew that I had a choice. I could choose to let that limitless potential fade, to let this moment slip by, or I could chose to strengthen my resolve to embrace myself with love.
Easy choice, right? Of course. Yet, why did it feel so damn difficult?
We Can Be Heroes
All changes are difficult, especially positive ones. Because it means that we have to give up some of the dark stuff that gives us false comfort. Without that false comfort, we have to start committing to building real, long-term comfort. And that’s where it gets scary. I can do this now, but how in the hell am I going to do this next week, next month or for an entire year?
So rather than getting lost in an overwhelming future, let’s instead focus on this moment only. Positive change in the long haul is the ultimate goal, but you only get there with a series of small daily steps. I realized that all I had to do was make a commitment to love myself TODAY. And with the precious gift of one more day on this earth, I choose to be an awakened custodian of all that I am consciously calling in.
After all, we can all be heroes, as David Bowie said, just for one day.
My declaration for 2018 is that there is a new sheriff in town and – one day at a time – she’ll be doing things a whole lot differently.
So, what’s going to be different?
First. No regrets.
Second. New perspective.
So here goes…
1. No more creating self-fulfilling prophecies.
I am married to a man who has such an unshakable foundation of present moment awareness that he worries about NOTHING. He seamlessly flows with life no matter what is showing up. I, on the other hand, carry worry round my neck like a millstone. I feel as though it’s my job to overthink and to worry. I pride myself on beating every situation into submission. That’s the only way to control life and its frightening outcomes. Sure, the universe is beautiful, but it’s also cold and indifferent. In an instant, we could be kneecapped on the sidelines, destitute, freezing, and alone. (Freezing? For God’s sake, I live in southwest Florida!)
So today, instead of worry, I choose to celebrate a partner who is loving, insightful, spacious, funny, and quick to forgive. A partner who is so unbelievably trusting in the greater unfolding of what the universe has in store not only for him but for me and our family that I have no choice but to vow to expand my perspective and exchange a yoke of resistance and negativity for a mantle of trust and confidence in myself.
2. No more self-flagellation for not meeting the impossibly high standards I set for myself.
The holidays can be hard when it comes to balance, and that includes healthy eating. In the past, I might have perhaps overindulged in raw cookie dough while baking with my pint-sized partners. I also might have slightly overdone it with the cookies themselves and all of the other, oh-so-delicious holiday treats. And then, by way of punishment, I’d feel compelled to stare at myself in the mirror, focusing on my waist and backside, chastising and criticizing myself for being weak and somewhat worthless.
Hey, you know what? I’m human. So are you. We get to make mistakes because that’s how we learn and grow. In fact, our successes are defined by and built upon the times we fail. I’m also beautiful in a myriad of ways that have nothing to do with the physical and you are too. We are defined by who we are, not what we fail to do. So, instead of diminishing ourselves for perceived sins, let’s celebrate and give profound thanks for the gifts we have to give and for those we are able to graciously receive – motherhood, sisterhood, family, and friends. I will be meeting my future mistakes with a gentle touch, a knowing smile, and a quiet inner reminder that I’m only human.
3. No more impatience with my spirituality.
My spirituality, sometimes has a special needs quality that prevents me from connecting to the higher forces that lovingly wait for me to only get quiet enough. When this happens, I become frustrated and angry. However, these negative emotions only serve to separate me even further from those higher forces. When I have the patience to ditch the impatience, the magic happens. It’s then that the whispers of unconditional love, connection and higher wisdom come rushing to support every area of my life.
I humbly give thanks for the shower, my personal temple of miracles. These ten minutes that I gift myself each morning are the only time where I am unattached and can stand still long enough without distraction. In that stillness, I hear the voice of God. I am drenched with cleansing water both internally and externally. I am overwhelmed with wisdom and insight. It’s there that I can clearly see the path for today.
4. No more tears and shame as I struggle with depression.
Depression is my oldest and most steadfast companion. As those dark and terrifying clouds begin to sock in my perspective, rather than slamming the door in depression’s face, terrified to acknowledge what’s happening for fear that he will never leave, I invite this friend to sit with me. And in the spaciousness of complete acceptance I stop judging and begin to see possibilities.
I invite perspective and gratitude to take tea with us at the same table. When I do, I am filled with the greatest compassion and empathy. I realize that my dark friend has endowed me with a gift. I can reach out to others who also live in the darkness and help them to discover the light that dwells within them, as I have found it within me.
5. No more fear.
No more sitting at my computer and being afraid of sharing my most transparent moments with you. The unadulterated, unvarnished, flawed but truly authentic side of me is strong, and it’s getting stronger with each day. That strength, that fierce courage, allows me to trust. That trust, in turn, allows me to reach out to people who, just like me, deeply wish to live courageously, knowing that they are being supported by at least one person who knows exactly what they are feeling. They are my tribe, my messy gang, my group of the beautifully imperfect.
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With the dawning of this new year, let us hold hands and make this promise.
We will surrender our regrets. We will give up the stories that have kept us trapped in a reality that prevents us from becoming who we are truly meant to be. We will sow the seeds of possibility that will deliver the most glorious moments. We will support and build upon one another and paint a future that reclaims our greatest dreams.
We must begin somewhere. And like me, I believe you too can do anything … for one day.
Self-love. It’s on.
No regrets and new perspective. How are you going to choose to integrate these important ideas into your life right now? I can’t wait to read your insights.