Less than half way through January, it is not yet too late to be contemplating what some refer to as New Year’s “resolutions”. I have decided this year not to call them that. In deference to the side of me that looks forward to looking forward, I am contemplating my New Year’s “anticipations”.
Also, being a therapist, being a human being that has lived on this planet for something more than 40 years, I understand that those pesky “resolutions” we make for ourselves are all about the desire for, not just change, but healing change. Well, change happens whether we plan on it or not, and whether or not the change is healing is often a matter of our state of mind. So, rather than approaching the inevitable with an underlying sense of punishing myself for all the things that “need” to be improved, I will anticipate that my past, whatever it is, will serve me well as I approach and look forward to what lies ahead for me in 2007.
As we resolve we are requesting healing of ourselves. As I anticipate, I approach my resolve with hope as well as confidence in my own capacity to understand myself, and make choices that will ultimately offer the healing I am most able and ready to receive. Not that I anticipate all things will necessarily come up rosy for me in the New Year. However, as I approach resolutions with an air of anticipation, I give myself a vote of confidence, rather than a punishing shake of a finger. I suspect that if more of us thought of our past with a mixture of forgiveness and gratitude, moving forward into healing changes would come more naturally, and with less suffering. If I can offer myself such compassion, I can offer that compassion back to the people I love and thereby the healing I give to myself is also offered back to the relationships that are most important to me.
Here’s to 2007, and all of its as yet unrevealed mysteries, and to our ability to anticipate with confidence the healing power of compassion.