The New Year is finally upon us and it’s that time of year when friends normally ask me what my New Years resolutions will be? For the past few years I have declined making any New Years Resolutions. To be honest, I haven’t really stuck to them. They are normally, I will go to the gym more or I will not eat chocolate. When I make resolutions with myself like this I never manage to make it past January. Personally for me I think I put so much pressure on myself that I end up breaking the resolution. So it becomes pointless and a never ending circle.
However, this year I have decided to go for it. Shocking, I know! Since giving up sugar and processed food nearly two years ago I have realised I can stick to my plans. Nowadays I have made a decision that if I break my resolutions for whatever reason I will not be too hard on myself. Plus I now look at processed food as cardboard and I think that I would be actually better off eating a piece of cardboard than something that comes out of a packet. After two years it seems to be working well and I, touch wood, have not broken. Hence, why I have decided to make one this year.
Recently I had a text from a friend of mine and in the message the person concerned wrote the words ‘you should’, which may not seem very concerning in this context. Before I go on this person did mean it in a kind and caring way. However, the words ‘you should’ make me want to breath fire like a dragon. I did not really read the rest of the text for a few moments because all I could see were the words ‘you should’.
What I have noticed in recent years is these words can be very hurtful. For me, it’s another human being telling me what to do and all I want to do is the opposite. My automatic response is to become very defensive. My stomach turns into knots and my breathing suddenly becomes shallow.
Before you put me in the nut hut I know of other people who have the same feelings. My mum is one and my mum’s friend Deidre always used to say they were destructive words. So this year I have decided to make a conscious effort not to use the words ‘you should’. I have been, for the past few years since becoming a mother, using my own experience and not make any suggestions to people but simply tell them my story. To me this is so much more helpful than those other words.
As a person I realise that I cannot control anyone nor would I want too. I won’t beat myself up if I do end up saying them but I hope I will notice if I’m being unkind. Also I will not put lots of pressure on myself but be more understanding. If I do not have a story I can share with a person in need I will simply listen to that persons story and hope that they find the guidance they seek elsewhere.
In many self help groups like Al-Anon and AA they will suggest to a person, it’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it. Which is true to a certain extent but I also feel that we have to be careful with the language we use. It can be very harmful in the wrong circumstances. So my New Years Resolution this year is to be kind to myself and my fellow human beings. To try to help humanity as best I can and to be careful of the words I speak and write to others. Touch wood I make it past January with this one. Happy New Year everyone.