By Valeria Vilar, MA, BEd, LMHC
The beginning of each New Year brings hopes and a determination to change that is infused with improved energy. Once the emotional Profits & Loses of the last year has been settled, each one of us can look into the future with the commitment to improve our life, the lives of those who surround us, and to contribute to the life of our community. The New Year resolutions are usually overwhelmed with the outstanding changes that we unsuccessfully attempted to produce on previous years and long for to a new chance, though there is always place for new challenges, superior aspirations that we discover along the way.
The season of change, 2010, will retest our capacity and strength, our determination and flexibility, our values and inner power, but basically it will resurvey our emotional, intellectual and spiritual tool box. In order to achieve the changes that we commit we need to be tooled with the right instruments, understand the difficulties involved in what we try to accomplish, and design a plan to make wishes come true. It is fundamental to have our ability to wish intact, not harmed by depression or despair. But that ability by itself cannot produce change, it would only point out in the direction we would like to move, it does not provide the vehicle nor the energy required to move in that direction. It is a common mistake to believe that the proper definition of a wish – bottled as a New Year resolution – would suffice to turn it into a reality. Turning wishes into reality, making dreams come true, is a life-long process that involves both confidence and humility; confidence to aim high, humility to recognize the challenging nature of our wishes and needs. It is by listening to our own humility, which teaches us who we really are and what we still need to learn, that we could become confident. The rest is to persist in the daily job of improving ourselves.
There are among us those who are really good wishers; some of them train themselves to count with a fair amount of inner resources to achieve what they have wished, or to come close to it. The daily practice of a psychotherapist witnesses how complex it is to identify the goals that we want to achieve when we are overwhelmed, how frustrating it is to continue utilizing our own resources over and over without achieving the desired goals, how difficult the entire process is, and how deep it hurts when what we wish remains year after year distant and elusive.
We get used to the change of seasons. Even to us, who live in Florida, a soft breeze of cool air – what we call winter and usually lasts for less than a week – offers a welcomed change. We all become aware with the passing of years that we do change, that change is unavoidable. We also realize that we would never be happier than when we lead the direction of our changes, that when we change in a direction set by our hearts and minds and not by fate or luck. Let's train ourselves to change, let's equip ourselves with the necessary and realistic tools required to make change happen. Let's welcome 2010 and make it a Season of Change.