‘Tis the end of the season, time to pack away the Christmas gear for another year while our minds run wild with thoughts of making a meaningful “New Year’s resolution”. And telling ourselves; “this year I’m going to stick with it, REALLY!”
There is room for improvement in all of us but do you think that our annual resolution to eat healthy, drink less or lose those five pounds is really going to motivate us this year? In reality, false expectations can get us in big trouble. Looking for the ideal can break our hearts and kill our hope, not to mention throwing pangs of guilt our way for not meeting our expectations and not honoring our commitment.
We all have had the feeling of dashed hope and shattered dreams. No matter what area of life we look at, we all have had the experience of having reality fall short of certain goals.
To find happiness we need to get away from the small details that can bog us down and focus on the bigger picture. We need to see the so-called imperfections as part of our personal progress on our journey.
We are bombarded everyday in our culture with the ideal of perfection. We are pelted from society with judgments. Look at the magazines listing the top ten best, the highest rated restaurants and hotels or the latest and greatest fashions for the season.
Pressures to be the best can be stifling, leading us to feel guilt at our inability to be perfect. We often just have to live life making our own so-called mistakes. We need to learn our lessons and move on. This is difficult to do and difficult in watching others, especially children. Perceived failure is really an opportunity to grow and learn.
About 30 years ago I recall Cosmopolitan magazine publishing an article entitled, What’s Right with Mr. Wrong? At that time if you were 30 years old, unmarried and childless, society more or less judged that something was wrong with you. The woman in this article reflected on all the supposedly wrong men in her journey. She didn’t mourn her poor choices along the way, but she noted what each one brought to her. She noted that if wasn’t for Steve, she would never have learned to ride a motorcycle. If not for Paul, she never would have been introduced to the opera. She depicted how you can shift your thinking, to see how all the seemingly wrong pieces fit together for the betterment of the whole.
Don’t fall into the trappings of society’s demands celebrating the Woman of the Year, the Perfect Family or the Ideal Man. This competition may be a great motivator but bad for guilt.
This New Year’s Challenge: Celebrate each day with gratitude, forgiveness, and a little slack. Do we really need a “Resolution!?”