I’m acutely aware that many people around the world make new years’ resolutions at the end of one year into the next.
Many of these will be “I’m going to drink less”, or “I’m going to eat less chocolate”, or “I’m going to quit smoking” or “I’m going to get fit and healthy back at the gym”, etc.
And these are all valid things to do, and definitely things that you definitely should do!
My only real concern with the whole concept of New Years’ Resolutions, is why wait until January 1st to make such positive changes in your life?
In my own life I constantly come across challenges which reach a point where I begin to feel like I must take action now (like writing these blogs more regularly), or else I begin to feel less confident or lower my self-esteem.
Now it’s true that we get self-esteem by doing esteemable acts, and writing for the benefit of others is certainly esteemable should the topic be worthy of others‘ interest. But more specifically, if I’m feeling less confident in myself, then it is only be repeating a new behaviour which proves to myself that I am able to actually achieve whatever it was I thought I was unable to do that frees me and allows me to grow and nurture my own self confidence.
Do you follow me?
This parallels and begins to explain the phrase “We keep what we have by giving it away” – something you’ll often hear around the 12 Step Fellowships, because it’s by offering another person the gift of your time and help that we fill our own well of Spiritual fulfillment and personal satisfaction.
Or as Anthony Robbins says “The secret to living is giving”.
So, what happens when I reach a particular breaking point in some relationship with myself?
Let me offer you some of my more prolific personal examples.
1) When I broke down and cried out loud to the Universe that I must stop injecting cocaine and heroin, I made the decision there and then that I was serious enough to start asking for outside help rather than replying upon my own thinking. That was early December 2000.
2) When I over dosed again, and felt the shame and stigma of feeling like a failure, I made the permanent decision “Never again”. That was March 15th. I have not drunk alcohol or used any form of illegal substance or unprescribed narcotic since 16th March 2001.
3) At a certain stage in my own development I became interested in my own physical health. To supplement my exercising regime it was suggested to me that I refrain from drinking sugar filled drinks. I did this immediately and have largely drunk only water ever since. This was Spring 2004.
4) I stopped smoking cigarettes on 27th September 2006, never to smoke again. It’s a long story how I did that, because it was never planned – it just kinda happened. I consider it Divine Intervention. Although it was never planned, my body certainly received it very well.
5) I quit caffeine on November 4th 2010. In this case I didn’t feel like caffeine was causing me any harm, but I knew that I didn’t need it anymore. I just felt like I was done with the morning highs and reliance upon caffeine to maintain my alertness during the day.
The real point I’m making here is not to brag about all the achievements (since they’re actually me not doing the things I shouldn’t have been doing in the first place), but really to point out that none of the things occurred on January 1st or were even attempted around such an event.
No, I stopped doing the things I ought not to have been doing in the first place whenever and wherever I made the final choice to stop and stay stopped.
And I needed help, love, encouragement and support from the Universe on every one of these challenges.
And actually, I suspect that if I was to set myself such a goals that I could only ever begin to start in on January 1st, then I’d be setting myself up to fail, right from the start.
So, when is it actually time to bring about change?
The time is now!
This is a story that needs to be told. Well, at least I need to tell it. I’m bound by my commitment to return the favour that the Spirit of the Universe deemed appropriate for me to recover, to then pass it on.