Happy New Year?
A great many of you will already know that January was named after the Roman God Janus, the God of transitions, of endings and beginnings. So, January is suitably placed then, at the start of the new year with the old year still fresh in the memory. Janus has two faces; one to cast his gaze upon the past and the other to contemplate the future and so, for many, this has special significance as they think about making New Year's resolutions and adopt an attitude to change for the better.
All over the country gym membership will be booming, thousands of pounds will be spent on fitness equipment while alcohol sales (after the New Year celebrations of course) will plummet. By the end of the new year, how many people will have kept their new year resolutions?
The problem, for me, is that Janus only has two faces and whilst the past and the future are important they neglect the present. Very often, changes are made on the basis of ‘mistakes’ made in the past; the resolution not to repeat them in the future. I ate too much therefore I am going on a diet. I drank too much therefore I am going to cut down my alcohol intake. I didn’t work hard enough last year so this year I am going to work harder this year. I worked too hard last year so this year I am going to relax a bit more.
Resolutions are often based on having been ‘bad’ in some way and that by changing your behaviour you will somehow be ‘better.’ But what is this judgement based on?
It is all too easy to fall into the trap of comparisons. Comparing yourself to someone famous, to the ideal image or to friends and relatives. But the thing is, they’re not you. They could never be you. You are unique. You are an individual. You are beautiful because of that.
How many of you baulked at being called beautiful? Why?
Looking forward and looking backward always invites comparison: what you were versus what you could be. Concentrating on the present focuses on you as you are. If you want to make a change, it’s because you want to make a change not because you are aspiring to make yourself ‘better.’
The present has one face: yours. It is beautiful. Happy New Year to you all.
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