Choose Who You Want to Be

Two weeks ago I wrote about ways to ensure success with your resolutions. This week I want to look at ways to think differently about resolutions. 

The previous article was focused mainly on resolutions that involve doing something new or different – achieving goals with work or money, exercising regularly, creating art, etc. Now I want to explore resolutions that focus on who you want to be

First, to clarify, there’s nothing wrong with pursuing abundance and personal excellence. It’s probably worthwhile to avoid getting attached to the money and possessions you acquire or becoming overly identified with your achievements, but these pursuits, especially if they serve a higher cause, provide satisfaction and support happiness. And of course, what you do also demonstrates and reinforces who you are. 

But external forms of achievement can’t satisfy us forever. Eventually we must respond to the prompting of our souls – to stretch and expand, to be an ever-greater expression of our divine potential. 

In some ways, as we get older it’s simply not possible to do better than before – to play a better game of tennis, to have more sales, or to get more done in a day – but we can always be better

By “being better” I don’t mean to trigger any stories of “not good enough” or to feed the ego’s attachment to some meaningless measure of superiority. By betterment, I mean more fully embodying our virtues. I mean consciously choosing what kind of person we want to be and being that person. 

Here are some examples of being a better version of ourselves: 

  • Being present to the here-and-now for as much of our waking life as possible. 
  • Listening and holding space for others. 
  • Accepting each moment gracefully. 
  • Being more forgiving. 
  • Letting go more readily. 
  • Embodying peace. 
  • Treating ourselves and others with benevolence. 
  • Speaking the truth – when kind and necessary, with purpose, and when it improves upon the silence. 
  • Being generous and helpful. 
  • Being an enhancement to our environment. 
  • Living in a way that is harmonious with nature. 
  • Being a clearer channel for Love. 

Obviously, there’s some doing involved in that list, but the being has to come first. 

Who do you choose to be? I always enjoy hearing from you. 

Love, 

Peter

2 thoughts on “Choose Who You Want to Be

  1. After a difficult 2020 and 2021, and no Covid was not the main theme of difficulty even though it presented many challenges, I find myself washed up on the shore of ‘after’. After is a place I have landed after drifting through two years of caring for loved ones who were dying. First, my Dad from lung cancer who died September 2020. Second, my beloved second son from a very rare and deadly form of sarcoma that started 10 years ago December 2011, went into remission, then announced its return with an unrelenting vengeance October 2020 and finally ended with his death at age 37 November 2021. Living with the spectre of cancer occupied much of his space from age 27 to age 37 … some of the most productive and prime years of his life leaving behind his wife, the love of his life, and his 22 month old son who was his life.
    Your list of examples of being a better version of ourselves is an example of what I endeavoured and strove for during the past decade. Yet, it is also exhausted me trying to maintain an equilibrium of listening, holding, accepting, forgiving, when facing the dreaded Cancer that stole, suffocated and extinguished the life out of my loved ones.
    I know it is the right thing to return to this list, yet, at the same time also feel that some of these qualities let me down when I realize now I actually needed some private time to sit with and allow myself to feel the fear, the anger, the rage, and the futility of the disease over which I had no control. So, in choosing these qualities I worked to keep these present with my suffering loved ones so that they were not burdened by the emotions and internal reactions of my own path of walking beside them on their end of life journeys. And that is how I found myself after their deaths, like a storm tossed creature brought to the surface to land on an unfamiliar shore … to dry up the water logged grief, helplessness and trying to rebuild hope and derive some sense of meaning in the senselessness and hopelessness of these experiences.
    So, not today, but one day soon, I will begin working my way through this list and reclaim what I once knew how to do … and begin again. Because that is the only option. To begin again.

    1. Susan, it sounds like you did your best to embody many of the examples in that list during a period of great suffering. I’m not sure I would agree that they “let you down” unless you expected them to end the suffering. Being a better human doesn’t mean denying your humanness, your limitations, and your needs. Often it means fully accepting these aspects of ourselves so they’re not being suppressed and eroding us. Forgive yourself for your limitations, for your exhaustion, for your emotions, for not being able to save those two lives. Let your suffering be conscious. Be a loving grandmother to that little boy.
      And thank you for sharing.
      Love,
      Peter

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