I've been hearing people talk of their "New Year's resolutions" throughout the office today. I've read some on facebook, and listen to friends tell me theirs, but mine is quite simple: I have no resolutions to make.
Every year I would come up with a grand list of things I wanted to improve. My weight, my pettiness, my job, my marriage, etc. and two to three weeks in I had crashed and burned on almost all of them. This in turn helped erode my self esteem, and made me feel like I couldn't do a whole lot to change anything so why try?!
What makes me laugh is that in all those years of resolutions I never said: "this year I'm going to stop drinking!" I never saw drinking as anything to get rid of. In fact it wasn't until February of 2010 that the concept of AA even dawned on me. But that realization that I needed to quit was a resolution that would change my life forever.
You see I like surface changes. They are easy. Color your hair differently, loose weight, whiten your teeth, smile more. These are fast and effective ways of making one feel they are accomplishing something. I had very little desire to dig deeper and find out the root of why I couldn't keep a resolution. Did I really want to go there? Well whether I did or not, AA took me there.
The first time my sponsor and I met to work in the big book, and to work the steps she said, "I'm going to give you the greatest gift I can, I'm going to teach you to love yourself". Right away I thought, "but I do like myself", I just didn't get the love part. In fact as we moved through the steps I found out I didn't like or love myself in the least. That's why I couldn't keep a resolution, because I never felt I deserved it.
So why should I be able to achieve it?
As the months passed, and I slowly began to figure out who I was, liking myself became natural. Now almost two years in I can say with confidence, "I love myself". I have many faults, many areas that could use signifigant improvement but that's what life is for. For working on areas that need it. I have self esteem, I deserve a good life, I can be of use to others.
So that's why I don't make resolutions anymore. Each day of every year is an opportunity for growth and change. And let's be honest there are plenty of days that I don't feel like changing, or improving, I don't feel like taking an honest look at myself. But then again there are days that I can, and growth comes, and change follows.
My sponsor looked at me the other day and said, "it's awesome watching you become the woman you were meant to be". I smiled and said, "the gift of self love was one of the best I have ever recieved". Sure will power, determination, a goal, a prize are all great motivators but if you don't understand yourself, love yourself, or believe in yourself you will fall short every time.
Are there things I want to do this year? Sure, but I won't place them in a box, or a resolution. I will acknowledge them, I will welcome them, and I will let them happen in the time they are suppose to. I will always need improving in almost every area, but I like the core package, it's strong, it's sweet, it's funny, it's loving, it's serious, it's alcoholic, it's me. And I like "me" now, and I will like me in the future!
New Year's blessings to you all......