Each new year brings promises and opportunities. Promises for doing things just a little better, being a little smarter – making better choices. Opportunities for being healthier, happier, more loving. And for things we can’t even imagine at this point in time.
Let’s talk about the vows you took at your wedding. These vows we made are for when – well, forever! And these vows, when given during ceremony, do have the chance to survive and absolutely last forever! But sometimes, life hands us distractions – gives us bumps in the road – and for a period of time, we may forget those life long forever vows. Or we remember them, but they seem impossible, daunting, too difficult to keep.
And here we are today – making commitments for the year. That seems a bit better, doesn’t it? To make a commitment – a vow – a promise – for 2018. If we, at the beginning of each year – like the beginning of forever in a wedding or vow renewal ceremony – make promises to each other – to our relationship – to this larger sense of life – it might seem less daunting. Easier to handle. Able to chew and digest.
But wait – how many times have we made New Year’s resolutions? And then failed! I think this happens a lot! And there may even be some people here who have failed so many times, or have see other’s fail, that they don’t even make New Year’s resolutions any more! I happen to be one of them! Pish Posh! I say to my cynical self – a year might as well be forever!
How about taking our lives and dividing them into segments of 365 days. You’ve heard some say a day at a time – this is the 12 step program that brought this into our lives. One day at a time. What does this mean? Well, for AA and other 12 steppers, this means that we wake up each day, and make promises for that day – and that day only. Because we can do that! We can make it through a day without too much ambition! We can wake up in the morning and make a promise for the day. For people in the 12 step program, they actually have help. They are guided to wake up each morning and pray to their higher power, whoever or whatever it is, that they make it through that day, successful in overcoming whatever their particular problem happens to be. We can take guidance from this program. We can wake up each day and say to our partner, “I love you, and I will keep you and your happiness as my highest priority today.” Now THAT we can handle. I’m not sure if there’s anyone that can’t handle a promise for a day.
But, well, actually – hmmmm. We sometimes do find that by the end of the day, we haven’t kept our promise. Perhaps we got into a traffic jam first thing in the morning and our loving minds went to sleep and our irritation set in. Perhaps we had a particularly grueling day at work and got very tired and frustrated. Perhaps we had some bad news….or even good news! Something that took our loving minds and placed them out of priority. And so, a day goes by and we….forgot.
There is even a smaller segment that we can work with. And I don’t mean an hour, or a minute, or even a second. This isn’t a measure of time – it’s a measure of consciousness. It is a moment. Moment to moment, let us make a promise. What is a moment? Some people have varying opinions, but here is my idea of a moment. It is a period of time that we remember our promise. It is when we remember that we have a partner, a loved one, who means more to us than anything else in the world! When we are preoccupied by anxious thoughts, forgetful because of frustration, disturbed by our anger – but through these distractions comes a little….thought. A thought so tiny it is hardly heard through the haze of our preoccupation – but it’s there nevertheless. Its quiet and still. It’s waiting for us patiently. This is the moment we can make a choice. The choice to, right now, bring the priority of our love, and our loved one and his or her happiness, back to the foreground. Back into focus. Drop the other things and – in that moment – know that all there is in life you already have. You have love, you have life, you have each other. And that moment, that little forever, you have your vow, your promise.