I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. There are always things I’m working on, especially as a mother – less yelling, more cuddling; less rushing, more patience; less rigidity, more flexibility – but these feel ongoing and the work of a lifetime, rather than something I can suddenly begin to do (or not do) on a specific day. I also don’t love New Year’s Resolutions (though I know some folks find them very helpful) because I worry that they play into the mindset that we’re meant to be constantly on the self-improvement train. Always smarter, faster, better, thinner, stronger, richer, etc. If we’re not careful we can find ourselves dissatisfied with current circumstances, always grasping for the next thing.
Of course, the world is in a precarious place, by many standards. It seems that we are all going to be asked to show up in the absolute best way we can. As I think about how I’m having conversations with my kids about what that means to show up, what it means to be our absolute best, I struggle to communicate two truths:
- Who and how you are right now is good enough.
- We all need to listen and pay attention and be willing to change when needed.
It’s been my experience that I am most willing and ready to change when I feel seen and heard and understood exactly as I am. And so I know my work for my children is to really pay attention to who they are, to see them and hear them and understand them, trusting that if they feel safe and secure and loved, they will be willing to do the hard work of change and transformation for themselves and for the world.
This is what I hope to do, not only for my children, but for my entire community. To contribute to each of us feeling safe and secure enough to show up in the best possible way: strong, fierce, and humble.
The last day of 2016 this poem was shared with me. I share it now with you:
“Forget about enlightenment.
Sit down wherever you are
And listen to the wind singing in your veins.
Feel the love, the longing, and the fear in your bones.
Open your heart to who you are, right now,
Not who you would like to be.
Not the saint you’re striving to become.
But the being right here before you, inside you, around you.
All of you is holy.
You’re already more and less
Than whatever you can know.
Breathe out, touch in, let go.”
– John Welwood
May we all remember –and remind our children – that all of each of us is holy.
Here’s to 2017! Did you stick to your resolution if you made one?
This is an original blog written for World Moms Network by Ms. V.