Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Resolution or Revolution.

The new year is marked by resolutions.
Exercise more. Swear less. Diet.

A few years ago, I made a New Year's resolution to never make another resolution.
That was the longest resolution I have been able to keep. The inevitable has happened though.
I am breaking it.

From Australia's Marionette Life Thingy

If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself. If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part. All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience.
~Mao Zedong
This quote found it's way to my inbox this morning and got me to thinking about the similarities and differences between resolutions and revolutions. In both, Zedong's statement about how all genuine knowledge comes from direct experience holds true. 

In order for there to be a revolution, there must be Revolutionists. 
In the same respect, a resolution must have a Resolutionist.

New Year's isn't the only time in the year where resolution are made. 
The Catholic Church calls it Lent.

It is technically a perpetration time for believers. A time for extra prayer, penance and repentance.
A time where, as I learned from participants in school days to give up candy and soda pop. 

A time for self-denial.

Now think back on all the New Year's resolutions you have made. I know I did.
Is it marked with self-denail?

Exercise more equals less time for other hobbies and relaxation. 
Swearing less equals a self censorship on a section of vocabulary.
Dieting equals giving up candy and soda pop.

See the theme. 
Why are resolutions, New Year's and Lenten, mostly of a self-denial, negative nature? 
I am tired of setting myself up for failure

Lent isn't about a time of self denial, it is a bout developing a closer relationship to God.
Not just for the six weeks of lent, but for a lifetime.

Shouldn't New's Year's resolutions be the same?

The potential for a revolution awaits all of us.

Is the same stigma for resolution going to set us up for failure again this year, or will we answer the call to be a Revolutionary?

For lent, I don't give things up. I work on improving an aspect of my life, to consciously change my attitudes and behaviors. With Lent, when I vowed to improved my patience, with my son for example, I wasn't gifted this triait through prayer. Instead, opportunities were given to practice this virtue.

This was a few years ago. I find myself still keeping that same lenten promise, that same resolution. Then one day, I noticed the opportunities to improve this area of my life weren't being given to me. They were always there. Through the act of addmitting this shortcomning, I was able to see areas for improvememnt.

I am applying the same theory to New Year's
I am breaking an old resolution in order to gain genuine knowledge

Just like cleaning my house, to tackle it all at once is overwhelming and will only result in a feeling of failure for me. Instead, I walk in to each room and fix the first thing that bothers me the most. The house gets cleaner and a a sense of accomplishment is mine.

Over this morning's cup of coffee, I looked at my life in the same way I clean. Because, after all, that is essentially what I am doing.

When my mornings are hectic and the things that are going wrong seem the most prevalent, my whole day will be a clone of those first moments. So I resolve to find the silver lining in my coffee cup. 

While I am drink that first cup of the day, I will not be dwelling in the medical bills that are piling up, on the car that seems to start successfully less and less, or on the furniture/appliances my three year old has proudly figured out how to take apart.

For the few minutes it takes me to drink that first cup, I will think about the reason for the medical bill sitting next to the coffee maker. The cause of many lifelong problems I have endured had been found. 

The car may have troubles, but through encouragement and problem solving my husband and I can keep it going for a while longer. 

My son isn't just taking things apart, he is learning how things work. He is questioning and endeavoring to find the answers.

Now that I have made this resolution, I expect to be handed many opportunities to excel. 

Who are we kidding?! 
I will fail, but I will learn.
It is the experiences that will ensure the lessons learned won't be forgotten.

Begin a revolution in your own life. I promise, you won't be the same again.  
For me it begins with coffee.

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