For whatever reason, New Years is a holiday that has never resonated with me. To me, it has always felt like a bit of a false holiday. In my lifetime it has always been an occasion for large parties with a lot of noise and drinking. While I love to drink, I prefer not to do it to excess anymore and large parties just don’t resonate with me.
For years it has been my preference to spend the evening at home, usually alone. I couldn’t even tell you when the last time was that I actually stayed up until midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Who decided that January 1st would be the start of a new year? I believe that your New Year starts on your birthday. After all, your life started on your birthday, why wouldn’t each birthday re-start the year? If you’re not going to start counting a new year on your birthday, I would think that the next best day to count as a new year would be the first day of Spring. For me, the coming of Spring holds way more optimism than the coldest part of the winter.
So, with all of that in mind, I am not a big believer in making New Year’s resolutions. I try to resolve to do and be better every day. Some days I succeed in this, other days, I slip into old, less mindful, habits. This year, though, I feel brings unique concerns to my mind and heart.
I know not everyone is as concerned about our new President as I am, but I have to frequently talk myself down off the cliff when I let myself spend too much time pondering all the ills I fear we will be dealing with. Some friends and I met on New Year’s Day and were discussing how we can move into the new year optimistically when everything we believe in socially has been rocked to the core by the recent elections. Wallowing in fear is not a positive action, so we were looking for positive things we can do as this country moves into this next chapter.
So, even though I don’t really believe in resolutions, here is the list we came up with:
We can resolve to stand up for what and who we believe in. Just talking about how much you hate the anger and bigotry we are witnessing is not enough. We need to get involved. I am still searching for an answer to what that looks like for me. I appreciate all the people who are inundating their congressmen and women with emails and letters, but I am looking for something more proactive. I want to be part of a team that is offering options for those whose rights are being minimized. If anyone can suggest how to go about that, please let me know.
We can resolve to be a voice for those who have no voice. It is too easy to shut up when ugliness is occurring right in front of you. The urge to not get involved is a strong one. There is a genuine fear that we might make things worse and an even deeper fear of being physically at risk. I believe that if we don’t get involved and speak up, then there is a good likelihood that the hate and brutality we are reading about with alarming frequency will only escalate. If we don’t stand up and speak out, then we become as big a part of the problem as the people who are perpetrating the hateful acts.
We can resolve to be kind and loving in our actions. It is so easy to meet hate with hate, but that is not the answer. It’s hard to meet hatred with love, but that is the only way it will be defeated.
In Joe Vitale’s book, Zero Limits, he shares a powerful story about how a therapist was able to miraculously heal criminals in a mental institute, without even visiting them. He used the Ho’oponopono prayer for healing by just repeating the phrase, “I love you, I’m sorry, Forgive me, Thank you” over and over again. It is not easy for me, but every day I recite this Hawaiian prayer with Donald Trump in my mind. I plan on continuing this practice every day Mr. Trump is in office. I invite you to join me.
I do not know a single person who is not trying to make themselves a better person. We may have different definitions of what “better” looks like, but I believe everyone tries their best every single day. For me, better means being more mindful, more present, and more active in pursuing ways to make the world, and our country, a better, safer place for everyone. So, here’s to a new day, a new year, and an ever evolving, ever changing, world in which we live.