by Elva Patterson Rutters RSSW
New beginnings. Starting afresh. A do-over. Resolutions. No matter the term, the motivation remains similar. It is a time to do things differently, in hopes of achieving greater contentment. That time of action doesn’t need to correspond with New Year’s Eve, you can set the start date as often and whenever you choose. Few rational decisions are made on the spur of the moment. A good friend chose to withdraw from connections as he “figured” himself out. When there is historical abuse, the desire to re-create yourself in thoughts, feelings and behaviour often entails a listening ear. In one’s attempt to make sense of things from the past, do not forget to live and enjoy the present. Being a hermit isn’t recommended for a long period of time. Mankind was not meant to be alone – that goes back to when God create Adam, saw he was alone, and said that was not good, so created woman. We need socialization. A listening ear helps us make those new choices.
Seems we are always seeking fulfillment of our concept of contentment. The idea of a more active lifestyle, fewer pounds, new relationships, new jobs, new demographics, implies contentment originates outside the body. True contentment is within the heart, if we could only be happy with what we have.
For many, it is time to break the cycle of abuse, develop a relationship to a deeper level, to spread your wings, and/or to expand your horizons. I always thought Army Brat meant an unruly, misbehaving youngster, and yet it did not fit the youth of so many Army parents I knew. I learned just this summer it means: Born, Raised And Transferred! For those youth, stability and formation of lifetime friends did not exist, although, with today’s social media, that is somewhat alleviated. In fact there are so many transitions in the lives of people due to jobs or relationships, no-one seems to retain connections for a lifetime, like years ago. To aim to increase your connection with family and friends remains challenging with Covid, but the phone and computer gives the chance of keeping in touch.
For many, the church or service club was the point of connecting to the community; but again Covid has put its claws into those connections. Wearing masks forbids us to see if someone is smiling, or sticking their tongue out at us! We are becoming more adept at reading eyes. It remains a task to initiate and maintain relationships. It has to be a commitment where, often, you get out what you put in.
All those new beginnings, new habits, new resolutions, require work and commitment. Life is not easy, nor is it handed to us on a silver platter. Even if we win the lottery, decisions need to be made. It remains imperative we approach our new beginnings with the awareness of consequences, implications, and strategy applicable to achievement. Clearly defining our plan is essential and 9/10ths of the battle.
Whatever you strive to do, may you seek contentment and growth in your personal being. Do not hesitate to seek the advice of others; especially those who have previously trod the path. Your contentment is only relevant and applicable to you. Treasure YOU!