15 January 2016
What matters is that one of the ways we grow up is by declaring what we love. ~Shauna Niequist, Bread and Wine
After writing this week’s first post about creating intentions around the things I am devoted to in my life, I pretty much dissembled and fell completely off track.
After reconnecting to the importance of self-care, I stayed up ridiculously late. Rather than mind my objectives about eating well, I rebelliously mowed through the remaining holiday sweets in the house. I skipped working out all together.
Sigh. It’s another part of the rhythm.
I’d like to say — eh voilà, that brigade of devotions I’ve been reflecting upon immediately galloped right over the hill with a bright and brilliant flourish to save me from myself.
What actually happened was it got worse.
What happened was I shamed on myself. I got snarky with my husband and pissed at myself. I wound up at an ugly, no-answer kind of place where I wonder what it’s all for anyway.
Initially what helped me begin to work my way out of this was the knowledge that I am not alone. Everyone falls short at times. Brené Brown explains the resolution syndrome in this way:
There’s a predictable pattern around New Year’s Resolutions: January 1 – This is going to be awesome. January 5 – I’m awesome. January 10 – This sucks. January 20 – I suck.
I’d arrived at the January 20 part a wee bit ahead of schedule.
But, when I became willing to haul myself out of the mess, there they were—the values that fuel and nourish my life, present and able to shoulder difficulties and bolster me. When I listened to them, they reminded my why I work out, eat right, value my marriage. Like north stars, they help me find my way through tough actions and dark times.
I know this will happen again. I’ll disappoint myself. I’ll resist doing what I know to be best. I’ll fall down or fail completely at something important. And then I will have the chance to reach out to my handful of core values. To acknowledge them. To strengthen my alliance to them. To let them light a path.
Some days this is easy. Other days it’s not even possible.
Every practice is about beginning again. Every devotion is about paying attention. In these simple actions, there is great opportunity to return to, and reinforce, what matters.