The beginning of a new year is traditionally a time when people make a list of resolutions so they can get a fresh start at changing their lives for the better: Losing weight, signing up for classes, organizing their belongings — the list goes on.
This year, instead of making my goals impossible to reach by trying to live up to an ideal (something I am not), I am getting real about who I am and what I want.
I will not, for instance, eliminate all the “fun” foods from my diet, so a resolution to never eat pizza again is unrealistic — and definitely not what I want. Aerobics? I have never been crazy about running; it’s just not my cup of tea. So instead of starting to jog three times a week, I’m making a commitment to find an aerobic workout that I know I will enjoy and want to do.
“Getting Real” is about loving myself. Loving myself is not about acceptance, compromise, or about acquiescing to my limitations. It’s about finding myself perfect, just as I am. What I used to think were my imperfections, I now see as perfections:
Imperfection: I took three guitar lessons, practiced twice and quit. After some ballet lessons, I quit after making a mistake at a recital. I felt like a loser, a quitter and a failure.
Perfection: I did those things for as long as they were interesting, trying many things until I found what I wanted. I didn’t waste time, sticking with something that didn’t fulfill me. I have a wide variety of experiences, and had more time to do what I finally found fulfilling.
Imperfection: I could never stick to a diet for more than two weeks. I was continuously trying new ones. I judged myself as having no discipline or willpower.
Perfection: Trying every new diet and health regimen became my lifelong study in nutrition and health. I used my own body as a laboratory and found out what really works.
Imperfection: I have stiff joints. I would never be able to do yoga properly. I was not made right.
Perfection: I learned my joints are very strong, allowing me to become flexible without injury. It allowed me to learn quickly that yoga is not about the goals of the ego: The final posture is not what is important, but how well you do each stage of it.
Imperfection: I was a controlling person, wanting to do things in a very particular way. I thought of myself as a control freak and persnickity.
Perfection: I am very discriminating and capable. I trust my judgment and know what I want.
Imperfection: I would start talking and go on (and on) without a breath. I judged myself as tiring and long winded.
Perfection: I have spent my life practicing to be more articulate by conversing with friends and family that loved me enough to put up with it. I have many ideas I am passionate about and want to share.
Imperfection: I am overly excitable, uneasy and wired, which is very wrong.
Perfection: I am very enthusiastic and passionate. I bring life to the party, energy to projects and inspiration to others.
All of these add up to making me perfectly unique. I am not buying the advertising message that I will be right once I own that thing, make that goal, or accumulate that wealth. I am perfect just as I am.
As we move further into the New Year, I will continue to go for what I want and what I like. I have learned that if I honor my own unique desires, I will always have gratitude and appreciation for my life, and the abundance to share my happiness with others.
And that is real fulfillment.