At the turn or the beginning of a new year, the mere groupthink fascination of a new calendar or a clean slate provides us with all the gumption we need to vow and resolve to
examine our motives
eat more healthful foods
exercise three times a week
engage better in relationships
erase mounting credit card debts
See, at first, the changes you and I vow to make in our lives require no deep-seated renunciation of old patterns of thinking and behaving. Since everyone is making resolutions, we assume it’s trendy to jump on the bandwagon. However, it is after the newness of the year begins to wane we find ourselves confronted with the fact that ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating.’ It is only when February or April or September or December 31 hits you and I will know how we actually fared on these lofty resolutions.
Lasting changes tend to materialize when we come to the end of ourselves, when there’s no other way to turn.
We will examine our motives when we realize person after person tells us how they don’t trust us. We will eat more healthful foods when the physician tells us we will die if we don’t alter our eating habits. We will exercise three or more times a week when our weight threatens to keep us stuck in a chair or in a room. We will engage better in all our relationships when the ones that matter most to us are gone due to our own neglect. We will start paying down debt when bankruptcy is but a few steps away. Scary, huh?
If, as Seneca told us, it is true that “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality,” then I invite you to join me in coming to the end of ourselves daily—taking the time to really assess where our current thoughts/words/actions would eventually lead us lest we change. If we’re not happy with that eventual destination, now is the time to alter the course of our thoughts/words/actions once and for all.
I choose the picture of my hand because I remember vividly the day when I said, “Enough already! No more debt. No more spending out of control. No more wondering what would happen to my family if I die. No more eating in a way that destroys my body. No more trying to pretend being someone I am not.”
Now, I look at my life and see the amazing difference.
That can be you.
That can be all of us.
That can be our country being truly changed for the better.