Every day I read a chapter in a little book called The Way To Love. Thanks to this man's thoughts I have a new way of looking at resolutions and all the crazy making in my head it usually promotes.
I think last year I took the verse in Luke 2:52 about Jesus growing in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man and made myself an enormous list of things in my life I wanted to change. Now. I have gone back to that verse many times in my life when things are out of whack just to gain some perspective. It reminds me that I need to look at all areas instead of fixating only on one like I often do. Wisdom to me is the mental/emotional part of me. Stature is all things physical. In favour with God is my spiritual life. And favour with man is my social life. Just picture pages and pages in a journal filled with improvements for all these areas. And laugh. Cause like a house of dominoes it all comes crashing down the first time I don't meet a goal. I don't need anyone else to sabotage my life I do it quite nicely myself!
The biggest message in Anthony DeMello's book is to be aware of yourself with no judgement. Here is one of my favourite quotes:
"Holiness is not an achievement, it is a Grace. A Grace called Awareness, a grace called Looking, Observing, Understanding. If you would only switch on the light of awareness and observe yourself and everything around you throughout the day, if you would see yourself reflected in the mirror of awareness the way you see your face reflected in a looking glass, that is, accurately, clearly, exactly as it is without the slightest distortion or addition, and if you observed this reflection without any judgement or condemnation, you would experience all sorts of marvelous changes coming about in you. Only you will not be in control of those changes, or be able to plan them in advance, or decide how and when they are to take place. It is this nonjudgmental awareness alone that heals and changes and makes one grow. But in its own way and at its own time."
I love that last line. But in its own way and at its own time.
I've never been able to achieve any lasting change by my own effort. For some crazy reason that hasn't stopped me from trying. The best changes in my life have come about without awareness of effort. Ack - that last sentence was hard to type - am worried about getting accused of I don't know what....something spiritual that is bad. It doesn't mean my will is not engaged or that I am not aware of struggles. But something often happens in the midst of the struggle and only in hindsight can I see that a shift has happened in my spirit. My prayer for this year is that I will become aware. One sentence encompasses it all. That is a grace all on its own. Thanks be to God.