I know, I know. I’m going there. It’s that time of year when the majority of people resolve to do things differently, be kinder, lose weight, laugh more, stress less…yada yada.
I use to be real into that as well. I’m pretty sure at one point I even had a journal, The New Year’s Journal (yes, it is entitled to propercase font), where I’d list my resolutions each year so that I could keep track of them.
But the past couple of years have felt like an unwinding and an unlearning of that mentality. Not to mention how easy it is to fail at those resolutions 35 days or 35 hours in, and the pervading sense of heaviness, frustration, and quitting which tags along. This year, from now on, I want to be different. Or at the very least, I want to approach the blessing of a new year differently. So as a reflection of where I am today–which just happens to be the 1st day of a 2014–these are my two unresolutions.
Live an unclenched life.
Several happenings in my life as of late have revealed to me how tightly and deeply I foolishly (and falsely) hold on to my life. I harbor it. I worship it. The loss of both my parents in two years; the feelings of confusion, unanswered questions and deep wounds which surround that loss; my mental imprisonment to panic attacks; the immediate tension in my body, racing in my heart, and assuming in my mind I feel when someone I love comes down with the slightest of coughs or aches; the physical knots in my body; my toxic sense to control others’ beliefs and actions–all these reveal my obstinate clenching.
Somewhere along the lines I became God and took over my life. And it has not served me well. With clenching comes so many complications: stress, illness, paranoia, depression, anger, bitterness, judgment, frustration, joylessness, weight, isolation, fear.
want need to live life openly, spaciously, in surrender.
Treat every day like January 1st.
I need to get over this idea–this boundary–that January 1st is THE best day to start anew and make commitments. I hold to one of my favorites from Lamentations here:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.
With God, every day is January 1st. In grace, every morning is a new beginning. I’m sure this walks hand in hand with my need to let go. My desire for control leads to my obsession with perfection. And where a goal or plan or day is tainted…well, it’s just much easier to shut down and wait for the proverbial New Year. How much more gracious, spacious, joyous to wake each day with the Happy New Year mentality.
So on this January 1st, these are my unresolutions. May they be nothing more, nothing less, than a faithful friend who walks beside me daily, in light and laughter.
And may the friends on your journey be just as much a blessing to you, each and every perpetual New Year’s Day.