Maybe part of how you begin to help the people you love is by first helping yourself. Better health is always a priority because you can't really help others if you yourself aren't well. Perhaps you will resolve to become more involved in community initiatives, start volunteering or increase the number of hours a week you already volunteer. You may wish to work on things like organizing your household--closets, the basement and other storage areas. Or maybe it's as simple as making a promise to hold Sunday night dinners every week in 2011, giving your family more opportunity to connect with one another.
Whatever you plan for your New Year's resolution(s), remember to forgive yourself when on January 10th, you haven't yet accomplished your goal. We don't need to wait for the new year to start over; every day is a new day. If you falter a bit early on, don't throw in the towel. Start fresh the next morning as if it's January 1st all over again.
The best thing any of us can do for ourselves and others is to truly know who we are--lions can't be lambs and lambs can't be lions. Avoid any situation--whether work, social or family-oriented--that asks you to be someone you're not. The stress that will leach into your life and the lives of the people you care about can have serious--even mortal--reprecussions that could leave an indelible mark on your loved ones. I call this the literary Oedipal complex--in trying to do avoid hurting the people you love most, though you may think you're moving away from whatever the problem is, in reality, you move directly toward it.
Good luck to all of you as you consider how to make your life and the lives of your loved ones better in 2011--here are a few of my New Year's wishes for you:
My heartfelt sympathies go out to all the families who lost sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and good friends while serving their country in 2010--may you claim peace in the coming year.
My best wishes go out to all the men and women who found themselves jobless or homeless in 2010--may you find what you need in 2011.
And wishes of better health to everyone affected by disease in 2010--may 2011 bring you empowerment and healing.
2011-wishes of protection and resolution to the women and children suffering from domestic violence in 2010.
To all those who feel hopeless and helpless in the midst of poverty, may 2011 see you reclaim agency over your lives.
To those who suffer from depression, may you feel increased sunshine each new day of the new year.
To those blessed with wealth--may you find the grace to be humble, generously remembering the misfortune of others in the coming year.
To people whose futures are yet unsure, may you know calm, confidence and clarity in 2011 and beyond.
To those who took it upon themselves to deliberately abuse the innocent in ways both large and small--may you profoundly reconnect with your humanity, conscienciously moving toward full reparations in 2011.
To those who lost beloved family and friends in 2010, may you continue to move forward with strength and courage in the new year.
To parents of children of all ages, may you see your children flourish and thrive in 2011.
To the students who find themselves confused and unsure about their futures--know that 2011 will provide you with definitive direction.
And to all of you, dearest readers, may the coming year be full of every happiness, every joy; may all your hopes, wishes and dreams peek at reality; may your health be your most prosperous wealth; and may you find every closed door open as you bravely continue life's journey into 2011 and for every new year thereafter.
See you next year....