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Here it is, January, a new year, a new start, a blank page of a 365-page book waiting to be written.
We wish one another a happy and healthy new year. We wish for prosperity and good things to happen to ones we are about. We celebrate, each in our own way, the end of this 365-day cycle, welcoming with anticipation the beginning of a new cycle; a chance perhaps to feel better, to do better, to love better, to BE better.
I have discovered that, despite the trite cliches and common words used, this renewal means different things to different people, sometimes radically so. Resolutions are made and often broken. Endless lists created in desperate hope for better outcomes.
What is the common thread throughout? Improvement. Growth. Becoming. Higher goals set and achieved. Less stress. Peace. Control over events in our lives.
Now, I don’t know about you, but for me, this past year has been challenging and not in a good way. I faced many challenges and some are ongoing, with no resolution in sight. I have had reason to feel beat up and battered, criticized and confused, hurt and harassed; effectively brought to my knees, figuratively and almost literally. Can you relate?
I know that it is important to remind ourselves when troubles face us, that it is not what happens to us that is important, but rather how we react to what happens to us. A cliche which carries a profound truth. We have control over how we react to situations, while we have little or no control over outside events that happen. And we seek to control the directions our lives take, the achievements, the goals, and accomplishments, all of which are interrupted by unforeseen events. So buck up, you are not alone.
The fact of the matter is that everything is temporary. Success is temporary. Failure is temporary. Our future depends upon the choices we make ourselves. And the choices we make in turn depend on how we perceive ourselves on the continuum of life, how we see ourselves in this world, what we believe is true.
The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any, and perhaps better than others, to examine the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Am I a victim of circumstances or an overcomer? I may be one or the other depending on the day and the event. What happens next will be greatly impacted by the answers I give to these crucial questions: am I strong enough to deal with this? Do I deserve the success for which I strive? Am I good enough to excel in this area or that? Do I believe in a Higher Power and will it help me succeed along the way?
This January, now, I am looking to answer some of the crucial questions facing me honestly, and to create the best life I can for myself, for my family, for those with whom I come in contact, friends and acquaintances alike. I am asking myself “Who do I want to become and what do I need to do, or improve upon, to BE that person? What can I do to make my husband’s days better? How can I be a better friend? A better companion? A better mom, sister, wife? A better artist? These are things I CAN control. Your questions and answers will be personal to you, but our lives will be impacted greatly by the answers and the ensuing required ACTIONS we take. We know what we need to do and where we need to improve if we are honest with ourselves. I need to learn how to be more patient with myself and with my husband. I know what is required and how to act upon that.
So, I am committing to act in certain areas personal to me, to do a better job in my life, to impact others positively, to give the universe whatever it is I have to give that will make a difference; to paint better, to write profoundly, to befriend unselfishly and honestly, to love unconditionally.
What areas in your life can you improve? If we do better, we can better face those things we cannot control. We can be stronger and selfless, confident and ambitious, peaceful and calm. I yearn for a more balanced life. I am getting there but there is always room for improvement.
What about you?