I decided this year is going to be a different kind of a year. It was decided for us in 2020 with the covid pandemic, that things were going to be different. It was change that was initiated from the external, beyond our control, a set of circumstances that required us to shift focus and priorities.
This year, I am focusing more on the internal initiation of change. A change in my internal landscape that will empower me to move forward into this new year. There are circumstances and situations that we cannot control, but, we can control our responses to them. And so, I have decided that this is the year for a new perspective.
We tend to pledge at the end of a year, as we ring in a new one, that we will faithfully live our new year’s resolutions. We make our list of promises to ourselves. We declare we will go on that diet, we will exercise five times a week, we will limit our online usage, we will not procrastinate. We put our list in a place where we can see it each day to remind ourselves of our promises and then, in my case, we lose the list. Most likely it is among all the other lists that I have made, with good intentions and determination to change my ways.
My To Do Lists are never ending, and in fact can be overwhelming. I end up scratching off a few items, and temporarily feel good about it, and then life just seems to lead me away from my list. All those good intentions succumbed to the day to day demands upon my time and energy.
So, what can I do differently this year? How can I approach making changes without making my long list of Not to Do’s, regarding my habits, thoughts, patterns and choices?
I realized that my personal To Do List was in fact, very negative. It was telling me that I am not good enough, smart enough, determined enough. Each year, I made a visible list of my shortcomings. All of the things that I did not like about myself, a critical list that said, I do not like you the way you are. You need to fix this, this and this. No wonder this list would eventually find itself tossed aside. Who wants to be reminded daily that they are not enough?
When we have so many items on our list to change, it is overwhelming and has a negative energy attached to it. So, I decided to change my perspective.
This year, I am not creating a list. I am creating a philosophy, a mindset, a mantra. Only one item that is positive, that will see me through the ups and downs of the year. And will not get lost amidst lists and lists of never-ending dissatisfaction.
I will love myself.
This year, I will hold these four words up to each choice, decision, circumstance, situation, and even mind chatter. This year, I will Love.
When I hold this declaration up to all the circumstances, I only need to ask myself, what does Love require here? This is not a selfish love, or self-centred egoic love I am talking about. It is a love and acceptance of self, that when practiced spills over to others.
If I say that I love myself, then what action will I take? Will I take care of my body and my mind? Will I strive to do my best? Will I be mindful of my words? If I say that I love myself, it will be reflected in my choices.
And so, I can look at each choice I have made, and see a reflection of self-love in it or not. And if I do not, then I can recalibrate and move forward in love.
If I find I can’t remember the four words, “I will love myself”, then I will simply remember one…Love.
Because isn’t that what we all really deeply desire, to love and be loved. To see and be seen. To feel and be felt. To know and be known.
It begins with ourselves. If I am overspending, overeating, or under-active, under-motivated, then I am signaling to myself a need for more self love. Not in a critical way, in a loving, nurturing way. A way that supports and encourages me to move forward towards my highest good, towards my highest potential.
My TO DO is turning into a TO BE. To be the best that I can be, to be mindful of the energy of my perspective and choices. Many choices will be different this year, not because of external circumstance, but from the inner workings of love infusing itself into each encounter, each thought, each moment.