At the beginning of a New Year, many of us evaluate the past twelve months and make resolutions. We resolve to find a different way of living. There can be decisions to do something like lose weight, eat healthier or get organized (I love this one), and there can be decisions to not do something like smoke, overspend or procrastinate.
We often forget, however, that every day (not just January 1st) is an opportunity to begin anew. Each day we have the chance to start fresh and begin to create different realities.
I’m fully aware that “each day we have the opportunity to begin anew” probably sounds like pure nonsense if:
you’re walking into a kitchen with too little food and not enough heat,
you’re grieving the loss of someone you love,
you’re heading out the door to a job you hate or
you’re lonely (not the same thing as alone) and don’t know how to alter that.
For so many, day-to-day life is incredibly challenging. It can be really tough to get past all the hardships long enough to even imagine a new beginning; to think “wow, I get to create my reality today!” Having walked in the dark, I understand that.
I’ve been asked more than a few times something like, “How the heck am I supposed to “start fresh” when my life is in turmoil, depressing or not resembling anything like what I dreamed it would be?”
Sometimes we have to go back to go forward.
What would you do another way if you had the chance? How would two decades, two years, two months or even two days ago be different if you’d be able to have a “do-over?”
There have periods in my life when (with the luxury of time that has passed) I’ve thought: “I wish would have done things differently.” Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten so upset or broken or hurt. Maybe I would have kept my mouth shut or actually shared what was in my heart and on my mind. Maybe I would have remembered my goal to walk through life with joy and grace. But in those moments, in my humanness, I reacted the only way I knew how.
Once we recognize where the “wheels of the life we dreamed of” fell off our carriages, we can make choices to stop re-running the same tape. It’s tough work. We get stuck in what’s familiar—what we’re accustomed to—and instead of being our own best allies, we’re, often, our own worst enemies.
You can, but will you be gentle with yourself?
You can, but will you forgive yourself and begin again?
You can, but will you show yourself the kindness you often reserve for others?
These are keys in starting to rebuild—in being able to step back to step forward.
The expression, “God helps those who help themselves” was originally penned by Algernon Sydney in 1698. I had heard that saying for decades and never really gave it much thought until a friend reframed it as “God helps those who ask for help.” That makes a lot more sense to me and is much more consistent with my understanding of God.
It’s often hard to ask for help though, isn’t it? When we were young, many of us were told (either verbally or through unspoken messages that were loud and clear) that there are winners and losers. Many of us grew up thinking that it’s important to win, achieve, be strong, independent, self-sufficient—even if the outcome doesn’t resonate with our truth.
Being vulnerable enough to ask for help is really a challenge for most of us. For me, it’s been on my “need to work on list” many times.
Every day the first thing I do, as I get out of bed, is put my left foot on the floor and say “thank”, my right foot on the floor and say “you”, then stand up and say “God.” “Thank You, God.” Thank you for a new day, for a new start, for another chance at a new beginning. I know it’s not a magic charm that will cure all of our problems and pain, but it’s one step forward, and in a New Year, that’s a great place to start.
May 2019 bring you joy, love blessings and a profound sense of peace.
©2019 peace full home®/intentional living
Please help spread the word of peace full home® and invite your friends to our peace-filled conversations. Thank You, Kay