As 2017 begins, many are thinking about New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions, no doubt, will vary from one end of the spectrum to the other. Losing weight, making better grades in school, getting a better job, or having a closer relationship with those we love are some of the most common resolutions. Or it may be a deeper resolution such as moving past the hurts we have experienced by losing someone important in our life.
I can easily relate.
When I was in my mid-teens, my father died of a heart attack. It was a traumatic experience for me, watching my father die right before my eyes. His passing left a big void in my life and found that I needed to accept that he was no longer going to be a part of my life and I resolved to make the best of my life using the wisdom he had imparted.
Also, many years ago when my children’s mother and I divorced, not seeing my young children every day was extremely painful. Since I couldn’t have quantity time, I resolved to make the time we had together quality time. I resolved to make every minute with them as meaningful as possible and fill that time with love and joy.
In both circumstances, the key to making my resolutions a success was to accept ‘what is’ and make the best of ‘what can be’ at that given moment. Once I was able to release the hurt of the past by embracing the present, my resolutions turned from ideas into reality.
When we dwell on the pains of the past, we continue to experience that pain. In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz compares dwelling on painful experiences as touching a wound within you. The wound can not heal if you keep touching the wound by re-living the pain over and over again. It’s when we release those thoughts, that we can move forward and live a happier life.
As with a ship, we need to ‘up anchor’ and then ‘set sail’ to move forward. We can set all the sails we want, but it’s going to be difficult to move forward with the anchor entrenched in the sea bed.
As the New Year begins, remember what Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13, “Focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”
Give yourself a wonderful New Year’s present; let go of the past and live in the present with the knowledge that in the future GOOD will be yours!
Happy New Year!