I don’t get caught up in the social pressure of making a new year’s resolution anymore. Aside from that pressure to make one, if you don’t keep it, it can lead to self-shame and guilt.
With each choice we make we’re creating someting. Even if that choice is just a thought or a feeling.
“Our life is what our thoughts make it.” –Marcus Aurelius
So then, each month it’s a good idea to check in and see how I’m doing. Remembering, this is not a time for reprehension, it’s time for supporting myself.
Here’s how I check in:
- What have I created?
- Was I being authentic?
- How could I have improved?
This is how we support ourselves in maintaining integrity and protecting our own power.
What’s important about this is, each time we berate ourselves, we lose some of our integrity — “A part of my body doesn’t look right”, “So and so’s such an idiot”, “I totally failed that test, something’s wrong with me”, “Why is she dressed like that?” — yes, berating others is the same as berating ourselves.
We’re not being supportive to who we really are or taking responsibility (respond ability) for who we’re being in any given moment. It causes us to leak the power which being true to ourselves actually gives us.
Inspiration for writing this came from a recent basketball game. Toronto Raptors vs. San Antonio Spurs, Jan. 3, 2019. The game was hyped up for days.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not into basketball. The message is universal.
It took some processing before I felt able to write about it from an empowering place.
It brought up memories and feelings of being bullied as a child, not to mention the initial shock and surprise that it was even happening.
I understand there’s a lot of hype around sports and it can be very unkind to the players, however, basketball had always seemed just a little different. Players are encouraged to have a voice on things they’re passionate about. Players on opposing teams often help each other off the floor after a fall, and they congratulate each other after the game’s over.
In this particular game, however, spectators were subliminally encouraged to ‘boo’ a certain player who had returned to his previous home team. I watched on TV and there was a shot of a sign saying, “It’s up to you if you wanna boo”.
He had left the team on bad terms. The circumstances of which could make up a whole new article. Needless to say, the fans weren’t over it yet and they were ruthless.
“Life is too short to sit around and hold grudges — it doesn’t make any sense to do it.” –Kobe Bryant
It went beyond just booing him. It went into downright scathing bully behaviour by the fans, televised and sanctioned on international TV.
Many people try to make themselves feel better by shrugging this kind of thing off and say things like, “Oh, he deserved it”, “He expected it”, “If he can’t take it, he shouldn’t be playing”, or “He gets paid enough”.
What about the human in him?
People forget there’s a human being in there.
And where did the spectators tuck away the human in each of them for the duration of that game?
I don’t believe that was in their plans when they considered who they wanted to be in 2019.
Is that what they were intending to demonstrate to the next generations that were also watching and maybe participating in all that derisive chanting?
It’s one more way we’ve sent mixed messages to confuse our children with: “Bullying is ok sometimes”.
“The energy that you put out comes back to you.”
These are the opportunities when our choices can either change the world for the better or keep us going in the same destructive direction — respond ability.
It’s time for us to shine a light on who we’re being, what we’re creating and how we can do better.
So, even though I wasn’t a part of the taunting, I was watching this game,
- What have we created?
- Were we being authentic?
- How could we have improved?
Questions to contemplate on at any time, not just around a new year. Month by month, week by week or even day by day we can look back to mindfully correct our course.
This article is my way of creating a new discussion, being authentic by speaking up and improving on how I show up.
I challenge you to create something beautiful.
Get your journal out and write your answers.