Once again, the New Year is here and for many of us, it is time for another resolution to break from those habits that bothered us through most of last year or perhaps as long as we can remember. For others, it is a time to start something anew. In any event, it is constructive to reflect on life and evaluate ourselves on how far we have made it in this journey of life. We can lie to others and pretend to be what we are not, or even display false impressions but we cannot hide from ourselves no matter how hard we try. Yet, some of us would rather resort to self-denial or perhaps live a false life to the extent that we begin believing that such false life is the true one.
Now before I start sounding like an evangelist on the pulpit, let me state that like many others, I am also working on my own weaknesses and resolutions. The Webster’s dictionary defines ‘resolution’ as “the act of determining.” Determination is essential in the drive for progress and perfection. It is not my supposition that anyone on earth is perfect although some readers may not agree with me on this one, which to me remains a fact of life. The earth is on a lower scale in the hierarchy of the universe. At this level, there can be no perfection but only an aspiration of it. The essence of God (the all perfect) is diluted to accommodate the earth make-up just like an electric transformer dilutes the electric current so as to make it safe for individual home or office usage.
It is natural for one to continually strive for a better state of being whether it is in one’s job, relationship, or livelihood. In fact, it is born out of the divine instinct in every one of us to continue striving for purification. However, in line with the plus element of purification, the state of perfection is always one step beyond the last or present state. The totality of God-awareness cannot be completely encompassed by any human being in this world.
There are those who are closer to the state of perfection than others yet as long as they exist in this lower world (earth) they are subject to the laws of this world such as the laws of vibration, gravity, action and reaction, space, time, matter, etc. Even then, there are masters in divine awareness who live above the emotions of the human plane, and to this extent, these masters could boast of perfection but they never do. That itself would amount to vanity, which is one of the deadly passions of the mind, a major challenge on the way to perfection. It becomes relevant for us to scrutinize the authority or viability of any one who claims to be perfect while on earth.
Now what has all these to do with resolutions? Recognition of one’s weakness is the most essential step towards overcoming such weakness. This is why every genuine doctor would first diagnose an ailment before treating it or recommending an antidote. Same principle applies to life. If we reflect on life and recognize our weaknesses and shortcomings, we can then work towards overcoming them and improving as individuals.
The masters have said that “one must conquer his/her weakness or else his weakness will conquer him/her, and if the latter be the case, then that person is found wanting and must be held accountable.” Furthermore, the masters have also said that “there is nothing wrong in making a mistake, but there is something wrong in repeating the same mistake over and over again.” It is always worthy to make a resolution to improve oneself. Some of us carry through with our resolutions while others easily fall by the wayside even before the count of ‘day 1.’ However, the shame of having failed before or the fear or failing again, should not discourage us starting all over again. That takes courage, character, and discipline. Yet we must make a genuine effort not to repeat the same mistakes over and again. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. If we start from the little things we can improve on, we will someday overcome those ones we have thought were gigantic feats. In the same vein, resolutions need not be limited to new years only. There are many events in life that we can use. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, new jobs, and new relationships are not only times of celebrations and extravagant merriment.
A TIME TO RESOLVEAnd the year begins again afresh,
Or is it the beginning so indeed
By Caesar’s calendar yes we mean
Around the globe of today’s civilization
It is New Year, a time to resolve.
And many friends or folks we know,
Resolve to start or end a way of life
A habit or some trait a long time kept
A weakness or some fault a long time fought
A virtue or some strength a long time sought.
And we have heard as we have seen,
Many a resolution come and many go,
Great ones and a few not so great,
Made and broken before they began,
Some though, taken through the stretch.
And my gladness lies in the resolution to resolve,
And though we may fail along the line,
We shall stand again to start afresh, though
We need not wait for the year to begin, for
We may begin at birthdays, anniversaries, and more.