It seems to me that the New Year’s Resolutions so eagerly made on January 1st, and quickly forgotten and broken, leaving their owners feeling guilty…..like a failure….something we use to “beat ourself up” instead of the intended, constructive purpose. If we must make a resolution, how about we reverse the damage, and learn to be okay with our brokenness, inability to be perfect, accept our mistakes and failures. To have fewer expectations for ourself, and more self-compassion, is a more productive beginning for the New Year: A New Year’s De-Resolution!
If we learn to be more compassionate and loving towards ourselves, we can then be more gentle towards others.
Some ideas are: to soften, to move more slowly through life, to be more mindful. This may involve more time spent in meditation, silence, prayer…whatever you practice. Maybe it is just solitary time spent outdoors; hiking, skiing, or walking. We can learn to move towards our difficult emotions, like anger, sadness, fear, and anxiety. We can learn to accept these emotions, rather than judging them. We can learn to offer ourself the support we didn’t get in the past — from parents, family, friends, and to develop constructive, safe relationships.
How do we go about making these changes, you might ask?! Start by noticing your thoughts about stressful events, relationships, circumstances in your life. Our thoughts about the circumstances create 99% of the suffering we experience. Start to untangle what happened, from the associated thoughts and feelings. When you notice self-criticism, reframe it with a statement such as, “You did the best you could with the knowledge you had at the time.” Be a little more kind, gentle, forgiving toward yourself. This will eventually impact how you see yourself, others, and the world around you.
Here’s to De-Resolutioning in 2015!
If you would like assistance in this process, please call or email me for a free 30-minute consultation.