Each new year brings about new wants, new desires, that feeling of fresh starts and of beginning again.
Beginnings are often romanticized by most, myself included. Beginnings are usually exciting with a dash of terrifying. They can be full of hope with a side helping of fear. We feel the changes in the air, and the changes within ourselves, and this can be scary. I think the concept of making a New Year’s resolution has also been romanticized, again I raise my hand in this too. Often the pressure we put on things to be a certain way takes away its original intention and meaning. And really, that’s all a resolution is; “a formal expression of opinion or intention made”. My interpretation of what this means is to define what it is you really want, and to put intentions towards that desire, or desires.
It helps to simplify, to throw out the unnecessaries such as expectations and pressure put on by society and by ourselves. What’s left is the true meaning of things, the purity of why you want to do something in the first place. And sometimes, when you boil it down, you may even find that it’s something you don’t really want or need after all. I have been discovering that for me, it’s not a matter of low expectations, it’s a matter of no expectations. I used to view this phrase very negatively, but now I can see it for what it really is. It doesn’t mean you can’t hope or dream or plan, but instead it helps you from holding yourself to your expectations of how it “ought to be”. It’s not about being prepared for the worst case scenario either, it’s just about easing up and not anticipating every little thing in life. The less rigid you can be about your life, the more you start to find the beauty in the simple things. You see the miracles for what they are, you let in the precious and magical things instead of being afraid that they might not be what they seem. And just as importantly, you see the lessons that the tough situations teach you.
This year, I have a few resolutions that I would like to work with. I find that it’s helpful for me to break up aspects in my life into categories and work within each, but as I work I imagine that they will all flow into each other as I go along. Some examples of these categories are my personal growth in school, in work, in relationships and in creativity, as well as our growth as a family in financial stability, in quality time together, and in defining and refining our goals both personally and together. I also have chosen a word for this year of 2019, I didn’t have one by the stroke of midnight on New Years eve, but rather I kept asking myself what I would like to feel, what is a word that will help me in the challenges I will face this year? And then it came to me this week. That word is openness.
An openness to the new, to the challenging, to the beginnings that this year will bring. There is a vulnerability required to reach your goals. There is an uncomfortableness demanded by every dream worth having. There inevitably will be fear, but fearlessness is not what’s called for. No, do not be fooled by this word fearless, it does not even mean what you think it means. It does not mean being unafraid. It is sitting with the fear, using it, going beyond it for a few moments, that is what is compulsory, that which you really need, is called courage. Courage isn’t gifted, it is lived, and it is through openness that I hope to have more moments of courage. Small, tiny moments of courage are just as inspiring as big and bold moments of courage.
I have spent the past few years being courageous by being able to say no, to be able to build boundaries for myself in relationships, in my physical capabilities in order to heal myself not just from my illness but from the damage I felt from not being able to be myself. I had to take the time and the energy to search within, to get to know who I was and who I wanted to be going forward. Now, it’s time to be courageous by being able to say yes, to trust in the boundaries I set for myself and to know that going beyond them will not make them crumble, but instead allow them to broaden and stretch. My time spent within will help me share more with others who will accept me as I am, and hopefully it will even allow me to inspire others to know that they are safe and encouraged to be utterly themselves. I know it will be scary at times, it will feel uncomfortable and I will feel vulnerable, but through openness I will be able to push beyond the fear and into milliseconds of courage.
And courage begets courage.
Do you have a resolution, or intention for this year? I would love to hear in the comments below if you would like to share! Let’s support each other 🙂