At church this morning, we heard this excerpt from Frederick Buechner's Telling Secrets:
"Memory makes it possible for us both to bless the past, even those parts of it that we have always felt cursed by, and also to be blessed by it."
Then, after a sermon about, among other things, the eternal now, we were invited to write, on little slips of paper, things we intended to carry with us into the new year. Finally, we burned the paper, the ashes fell down, the smoke rose up, and our intentions were transformed.
What will become of your resolutions, types 7, 8, and 9? What mighty changes will result from these humble little (Riso and Hudson-inspired) suggestions?
1. Spend more time observing your impulses, and less time giving in to them.
2. Improve your listening skills.
3. Play "quiet mouse" to win.
4. Spend one day per week without the tv or stereo on.
5. Find ways to delay gratification.
6. Tell yourself that quality is more important than quantity.
7. While weighing your options, consider the consequences.
8. For your consideration in 2008:
"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. " ~James Openheim
"Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want." ~Margaret Young
"There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second." ~Logan Pearsall Smith
"Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you." ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
"If you are not happy here and now, you never will be. " ~Taisen Deshimaru
"The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things." ~Epictetus
9. Put your words to the "Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?" test, not the "Is it funny?" test.
10. Try crying, instead of laughing, when you're sad.
11. When you think you're running toward something, ask yourself what you're running away from.
12. Count your blessings.
1. From the Tao te Ching: "leading and not trying to control: this is the supreme virtue."
2. If it doesn't really matter to you, let someone else get their way.
3. Question your "me against the world" attitude.
4. Hug your allies. And your "enemies."
5. If you find yourself reflecting on your own self-reliance, reflect on interdependence instead. When you eat an apple, consider the one who planted the tree, and so on.
6. Ask yourself what price you have paid for power and try to strike a better bargain.
7. Instead of acting solely out of self-interest, act on behalf of your relationship, your family, or your cause. Get one of those if you don't have one already.
8. Something to consider, straight from Understanding the Enneagram: "If you do not believe in God, is your nonbelief based on genuine intellectual convictions or merely on the fact that you do not want to give up your ego and the things you enjoy? A great deal may depend on your answer to this question."
9. To mix quotes willy-nilly, Beat your swords into ploughshares, or else you will die by them.
10. Use your resources to create opportunities for others.
11. Scratch someone else's back.
12. Think of a way to create a legacy of goodness that will live on after you.
1. Remember that love is something you do, and take action.
2. Start a new independent activity this year.
3. Cut back on daydreaming and zoning out.
4. Recognize that negative emotions find a way to express themselves, even if you try to repress them. Give voice to your anger and anxiety. Let them out and let them go.
5. Examine the ways your actions (or your passivity) have affected your relationships. Own your part of your conflicts.
6. Exercise more frequently. This video game might help.
7. If you have unexplained headaches, backaches, or nausea, consider the idea that repressed emotions might be the cause. Learn to express your feelings.
8. Swear off drugs and alcohol.
9. Make a list of things you would like to do before you die, and do some of them this year.
10. Stand up for yourself whenever you are being mistreated.
11. Make it a goal to learn something new about every person you love this year.
Bless the past; lean into the future. Mary Beth will be blogging on resolutions for 6s shortly.