It is the new year, 2012, and many of us have made resolutions and promises to ourselves in hopes to make this year better than the last. We set weight loss goals and money management goals, and we hope that the small things we have added or taken away from our new lives in the new year help us get closer to our happy; our optimum selves. Of course by mid-February most people have abandoned those New Years resolutions and have settled back into the old ways of yesteryear that feel more comfortable than a pair of worn in blue jeans. It just was not happening fast enough. It was not coming quick enough and even given the sacrifice the difference was not great enough to warrant any further self-deprivation.
But wait…last December were we not absolutely positive, without a shadow of a doubt that having more of this and less of that would ensure us a chance to dance in the sunshine that is joy? That if we just lost that one bad friend, good friendships would come our way…that if we just lost 15lbs we would feel better about ourselves…that if we had 1000 more dollars in the bank we would feel more accomplished and successful…the list could go on and on. But the truth is, that until we are happy right where we are (with what we have) nothing that we gain or lose is going to get us any closer to joy. How novel it would be if one thing or even a recipe of things could lead to satiation–supreme contentment.
In a letter to Oprah, Marianne Williamson wrote: “Until you accept the magnitude of your function, your unconscious mind will sabotage any attempt to show your full magnificence. In fact, if you diet and lose weight, your mind will either put the weight back on or trip up in some other area. In order to lose weight on a permanent basis, you want a shift in your belief about who and what you are. This is the miracle you seek.” But this is not just about losing weight, it is about anything or being we feel is going to push us from unhappy to its opposite. We find so much frustration because our expectations far surpassed that of our realities. We put all our eggs in one basket and then when it never comes we feel this an array of emotions: discouragement at having tried, incompetence at having failed, and anger at having disappointed ourselves. How foolish we ever were to wait for superman?
The thing is, we have to be our own superheroes. We have to accept that the only person capable of saving us IS us. Some may argue that that savior may be the savior in the spiritual sense and I do not entirely disagree; I simply believe that He exists in all of us and that our divine selves will be the ones that carries us through turmoil into triumph. There is no need, then, to wait because I am always with me. My growing impatient, my frustration, my anger, my incompetence comes from my thinking that happiness looks like _______. When I rely on internal guidance and listen to my inner being the need to have more or less dissipates and I become enough, I have enough. As Marianne so eloquently stated, until I see the magnitude of my function, meaning until I accept that I am much more than my weight, my clothes, my bank account, my car, my house, etc. I will continually be disappointed. It will never be enough. And so my new years resolution has become simply this:
I resolve to become more intimate with God (and specifically the God that dwells within me). From that the rest will take care of itself.