Resolve to Forgive

It’s a brand new year.  Do you feel the promise in that?  Is there a glimmer of hope for a better year?  Are there certain things you want to accomplish this year that maybe you didn’t quite get to in 2013?  How many of you made resolutions for this year?  Me too.

In and of itself a resolution isn’t a bad thing.  It means to resolve to do something; to hold ourselves to our own promise, to be resolute is to be determined.   Lately though I’ve been considering why so many of us make the same resolution again and again, year after year.  I mean why isn’t it just working already?

I think the answer is in forgiveness.

photo by Brian Perry

photo by Brian Perry

Too often we walk around carrying the burdens of perceived mistakes, never forgiving ourselves for the supposed wrong turns we took in life.  In our consumerist society, many have lot of gain by you staying small.  Afterall there are creams, special clothes, and diet pills to sell you.  So if we stay in a place of shame, if we refuse to forgive ourselves, then year after year we can make the same resolution, the same promise, fail to keep it and use that to beat ourselves up all over again.

Let’s not.

Take a breath and allow yourself to feel compassion as you might for a small child.  Think of a time you feel you did something wrong, a time that burdens you still, and breathe some of that tension out and some compassion in.  Allow yourself to believe, just for a moment as you recall that memory, that you were doing the very best you could do at the time.  No, it wasn’t perfect.  Yes, you might do it differently if you could go back.  Breathe.  Let yourself feel the truth that in that moment, you were doing the best you could.  Compassion.  Forgiveness.

For 2014, let’s have only one resolution: to love ourselves unconditionally.