Tonight we’re going to party….

The expectations which a new year creates can sometimes heighten the sense of  disappointment or insecurity which we feel regarding where our life actually is.

There are a number of ways in which we can respond to this insecurity. One is to say “Tonight we are going to party like it’s ….” In other words, focus on what needs to be added to your life and throw yourself into something different. Convince yourself that what is required is to go out and find a party or new friends and surround yourself with life and music, get a new look and start all over again. In this way you can leave behind the past year/ person/ relationship/ bad patch (insert your own version here……….) and break free, finally, once and for all.  Now,  this not the worst of ideas, and I too will celebrate the evening in a party with friends.  However, if the underlying causes are not faced most likely it just offers relief for a few hours. Most things started in haste or under pressure tend to pick up at the same level of development we are at when we jump into them, and thus can just prolong the same issues.

A different response is to turn on yourself, focus on what is lacking, feel bad about who you are, dissect the reasons as to why you have reached the end of another year and yet are no further on than last year, and push harder. This pushing can take the shape of finding the root causes for your problems, such as having too many unhealed problems since childhood. Or it can simply focus on now, demanding more, pushing harder, renewing your positive thoughts or ambitions for the next twelve months. This is the way to be more focused/ more balanced/have a better body/ find a new relationship (insert your own version here………..) However, pushing ourselves towards perfection is unrelenting, and, as hard as we try, we are unlikely to turn off the critical messages in our heads that say “this is never good enough” or “what will those looking at me say?” And any desire for change which is based on unrelenting standards towards ourselves tends to maintain the same division between the “I” that observes and the “I” that is not good enough and thus just perpetuates the same perspective into the future.

There are some strange contradictions inherent in change and happiness. Change comes from accepting ourselves – resting with our imperfections and recognizing that we are already enough – and seeing that we are worthy of love and belonging.  All moving forward needs to be based on our capacity to sit still, accepting what we have. Happiness comes when we do not make it the focus of our efforts, but accepting that it comes even when we are not completely satisfied with where we are at any given moment.

Give up on yourself. Begin taking action now, while being neurotic or imperfect, or a procrastinator, or unhealthy, or lazy, or any other label by which you inaccurately describe yourself. Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die

Shoma Morita

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