Many of us make “resolutions” for the New Year, sort of like “I’m gonna go to the gym regularly and lose 25 pounds.” Unfortunately many (most?) times we don’t keep up the ambition to really complete these “resolutions” and by February we have said “oh, fudge, I give up” and we quit trying to do what we “resolved” to do on New Year’s day.
I’ve made those “resolutions” every year for one thing or another and in general I never completed them, but the “resolutions” I have made more recently made are much more realistic resolutions and I am keeping them pretty well.
I resolve to be kinder to myself. I realized in the past my enabling ways were involving me trying to fix a person who had abused me in some way by taking on the consequences of their bad behavior. That was NOT being “kind” to myself to do that, so I resolved to STOP this unhealthy practice. I also do good things for myself and don’t feel guilty about doing so. I fix my favorite meal, I sit down and read a book instead of doing the dishes…
I resolve to forgive myself for past decisions and choices that were not healthy. This was a difficult one for me and sometimes I still “fall off the wagon” in this resolution, but when I do fail to keep this one, I forgive myself and get back on the wagon, working to forgive myself. I tell myself, “Joyce you are human and you made some bad choices and poor decisions, but you can’t change the past, only the future.”
I resolve to get the bitterness out of my heart toward those who have abused and hurt me. To me this is “forgiveness” and enables me to not have bitterness and anger be the sole inhabitants of my mind and heart. By remaining bitter and angry, I am allowing those people to control my life in a negative way long after they are actually out of my present company. If I start feeling bitter about them, I bring myself up “short” and say, “Joyce, you are feeling angry, STOP it!” And as silly as that sounds, it helps.
I resolve to live in the NOW and to take time to smell the roses today, not to say “I’ll be happy when X happens.” No, I will live in the NOW and enjoy the sights, smells, tastes and joy that is there in front of me this minute.
I resolve to the thankful for the many blessings I do have and not to groan about those things I wish I had but don’t and never will have. I have clean water to drink, I have a roof over my head, I have clothes to wear, and friends who do love me, and God has provided me with everything I need and much of what I want.
I resolve to accept the things that I cannot change, to change the things I can and I pray for the wisdom to know the difference. This “prayer” from AA is a good example of a good attitude. An attitude that will help us no matter what life or karma flings at us.
I resolve to give back to others and share the blessings God has given me with others. Whether that sharing is a comforting word to someone who is hurting, or donating funds or time to a cause, helping others helps me. Giving without expecting repayment is what Jesus advised us to do. If we expect repayment of a “gift” then it is not a “gift” it is a loan. Giving, though, is not the same as enabling or allowing others to take from me. Giving is a voluntary process.
I resolve to be kind to others, but not be a door mat. I set boundaries on how I will allow others to treat me, but I will treat all others well. If someone violates my reasonable boundaries by acting in abusive or manipulative ways, I will not be “mean” back to them, but I will not sit still and allow them to continue to abuse me. When people show me what they are, I will believe them the first time.
I may not lose the 25 pounds I would like to lose, but I will keep the resolutions I have made for this year, and for every year, because those resolutions help me live a healthy, happy, peaceful and joyful life.
Happy New Year!