Well it is that time of year again, you know the one, time when the new gym members begin fading away, and the diets start slipping by the wayside. About 8 weeks ago people made resolutions to lose weight, strengthen their heart, and get in better shape; all in an effort to improve and change their lives for the better. However, when most made these resolutions, they really only wanted to change the physical manifestation of the behavior that got them into their needful situation in the first place, they didn’t really want to change their behavior.
They thought they would change their behavior temporarily, as a necessary evil, in order to produce the results they wanted to see, and then get back to their normal lifestyle. You see, many feel they are living the grand and good life when they are stuffing their faces full of crap, or vegging out for hours upon hours at a time, numbing themselves out to life rather than living it. Most only want to change some outside circumstance, such as losing weight or lowering cholesterol level, but these are just temporary goals that don’t have any real effect on our lives. At best, the person will lose 20 pounds, only to gain it back within a year or two. They haven’t decided to make a real change within – which is where change comes from.
Our society is very result-oriented, and neglects to place attention on the process and journey, or to find merit in the minutae. Many don’t stay motivated or stick to their goals, because they are looking for instant, superficial results. So in setting out to attain their resolutions, they are still trying to satisfy that need for constant stimulation and reward that got them in trouble in the first place; rather than noticing and enjoying their inner transformation and newfound awareness taking place in the change. In order to make a real change, one needs to break free of the compulsion to be constantly gratified, stimulated, appeased, and fulfilled. People don’t stick with their resolutions because they aren’t interested in making true changes at their core, as their resolutions are limited and external.
To make true change, you need to make a commitment to yourself. You have to be willing to go without, and navigate through scary territory, realizing that there are better things on the other side waiting for you that you never could have imagined. Our emotional lives have been stunted and repressed because anytime we feel bad or depressed, we feel we must escape those feelings and indulge in something. It’s alright to be depressed or down sometimes, allow it to be, for as we find out anyways, none of our indulgences offer escape either, only temporary distraction on our way to getting fatter, unhealthier, and sicker.
There are many articles out there on how to make goals, how to stay committed to your goals, how to be goal oriented, so on and so forth; but they don’t take the real issues of the person into account. The missing ingredient is, “What is going on within you that has got you to this place of ill-health to begin with?” There is a reason we gained all that weight, got weak cardiovascularly, or are always grumpy. What are the conditions and roots of our behavior? Most likely it started somewhere along the line when life wasn’t giving us what we thought we deserved, so we figured we’d take things into our own hands. This is rampant among our youth with their undeveloped brains, as they seek fun and escape in alcohol, drugs, and sex. During all those school years they have expectations that their life should be on the path to success, that they should look, feel, and act a certain way, as well as being popular, smart, witty, funny, etc. With all that peer pressure, many of them need an outlet. This is when the self-medication of giving into bodily gratifications begins, and when our emotional growth stops.
However, as adults we can escape this cycle and rise above, realizing that pain and sadness should not be feared, but seen as a normal part of life. This is where the importance of making a commitment, rather than goal-setting, comes in; for in order to commit to ourselves, we must actually learn to love ourselves. A commitment means wanting to make real changes within and get in better touch with ourselves, so as to heal ourselves from the inside out. Have faith in yourself, you are stronger than you think, and you can do this.
In order to feel the energy and life force within, and experience more than you had ever thought possible, the indulging needs to subside as you make a commitment to be good to yourself. Let’s stop pleasing the alcohol, toxin, and processed food industries for a moment, those multinationals who love to prey on our weakness and vulnerability. What better way to escape our horrible lives for a while, they tell us, than to have some fleeting bliss with Captain Morgan, Marlboro, or a bag of greasy Lays. How about just sitting with your life, sensing and feeling it, allowing yourself to be scared, bored, sad, or unhappy; let those feelings be there without need to cover them up.
This will be difficult and take time, but next time urges come over you to overindulge or to be unnecessarily lazy, don’t give in to your wanting – for every time you do you are harming yourself and taking yourself further away from your life. Make a commitment to start feeling your life as it is, good and bad, and stop continually numbing it out with harmful distractions. Reclaim your life and treat yourself with the respect you deserve. True commitment is a journey without a destination, there is no pot of gold at the end, so enjoy the gold specks that line a beautifully lived life.