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New Year, new… you?

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

For many of us, we approach the new year with feelings of misgiving and even dread. Some will look back at the “failures” of the previous year: the goals we set, but never achieved, the relationships we meant to reestablish, but never got around to, the hobbies we tried to make time for, but something else always got in the way…. And it doesn’t help that we are constantly bombarded with the question: “What are your New Year’s resolutions?” We feel pressure to come up with an answer that not only shows how (insightful?) (focused?) (dedicated?) we are, yet not set ourselves up for failure (again!) in the year to come.

It’s a lot to think about.

We often hear the term, “New You,” as if there is a little shop at the mall where we can trade in our “Old Yous” to get the deposit back, then leave the store brandishing some whole new persona who looks, feels, acts, thinks, eats differently that we ever did. If we watch TV, every other commercial tells us that we need to join this gym, take this prescription in order to (fill in the blank!), or buy this product in order to become this artificial, fairly tale, version of “ourselves” because there is something inherently wrong with who we are.

And that’s a pretty crummy way to feel.

So how about this? Let’s begin by getting rid of the notion that there has to be something WRONG with who we are. Now this is not to say that we are all perfect and never need to change, grow, or learn. (That would make my job very boring and non-existent!) No matter where we are on our path, we all can benefit from setting realistic goals and striving towards personal development. But this notion that something is WRONG with who we are has so totally infiltrated our culture that we begin to question the validity and value of our SELF. But here’s a thought: Maybe who we are is exactly who we are supposed to be right now. Maybe we don’t need a “New” self, maybe our old self, our original self, our true self is just fine. When we think about the core essence of our being, our soul, if we are comfortable with that word, the very baseline of our nature, what on Earth could be wrong with that?

So as we look forward into 2019, maybe we shouldn’t look so far. Perhaps we can take a few moments to look at who we are, and appreciate ourselves, be gentle with ourselves, and rest in this moment of realization that right now, you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

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