I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions. I prefer my failures to be more random, less scheduled, you know? The spontaneity keeps it fresh. But I do like to make promises, which I see as different from resolutions. A resolution is a declaration. I have nothing to declare. A promise is a promise and this year, the most important promise I am making is to myself.
In 2019 I will be kinder to myself; in body, mind and spirit. In my head this all sounded so much easier than it is. I’m taking baby steps; a happy dance when I make a deadline or dinner. A self-congratulatory piece of chocolate when I arrive anywhere on time. Naps. Loving self-talk in the mirror. Gratitude for laugh lines because I’ve laughed a lot.
Cut out the negative self-talk. I wouldn’t talk to my children, my spouse or my dog with the kind of insults I use on myself almost daily. And let’s face it, none of them would be the incredible people they are without this totally awesome common denominator right here keeping them all together. Yeah, that’s right: me.
But you know how life works. You set a plan and sure enough, something will come along to test your resolve. On its way out the door, 2018 gave me one last kick in the pants. The bruise was significant despite the substantial padding in my posterior (she says kindly). In my determination for holiday happiness, I ignored the one lesson I seem doomed to repeat: “when someone shows you who they really are, believe them, the first time” (Maya Angelou).
I got burned trusting someone that I should know by now I cannot trust. I will spare you the details, but suffice to say, I flipped out. A thousand times I have been there for this person, and the one time I needed them, I got squashed. Blindsided by something I should have seen coming, in a moment of weakness when I could not. I felt vulnerable and angry. Sure, I stood my ground. I chose my words carefully. Hey, I’m a lover not a fighter. I’m all about the peace, baby. Bring it in for a group hug. Forgive and forget. If only it were that simple. It’s not.
I verbally and mentally punished myself far harder than I care to admit. It’s so frustrating to be at this stage of the game and still repeating the same mistakes, especially with the same people. I’m old enough to know better. I’ve done this dance before. You’d think by now I’d be tired of getting my toes stepped on. I should fiercely guard my heart as I would that of my own children. Instead, I got angry and carried a load of guilt that wasn’t mine to carry. I ate a lot of potato chips and dip to soothe my soul. I lost sleep, but then I gained perspective (and about 3 pounds).
With the dawn of 2019, I remembered my promise to myself. Kindness. Patience. Gentleness. Forgiveness. Self-respect. Permission to make mistakes.
I’m a work in progress and the lessons repeated are signs that I keep trying to lead with love. That’s not a bad thing. Moving forward though, I’ll lead with a little self-love too. When someone shows you who they really are, believe them, but don’t change your nature to nurture another’s.
Bam. Mic drop. Nailed it. And might I add, you look great today?