Everyone makes New Year’s resolutions: I’ll lose weight. I’ll stop smoking. I’ll spend more time with my partner or my children.
Somewhere around the second week of January, those promises go the way of all the other promises. We start snacking, smoking, and/or spending more time at the office. If we have made resolutions as a couple, one of us is bound to fall down, leaving the other to place blame.
We often make promises that we do not keep. The problem with resolutions is that they assume we are in control. We have learned however, that this is not true at all. Many times the promises are unrealistic, made to impress someone else. Other times, the promises are made half-heartedly, with no real intention of following through. Still others are made with the hope of doing the impossible.
We need to examine the intended change and determine if this is really something we want and are ready to commit to. Once we have established our readiness for the intended change, our next step is to ask our Higher Power for guidance to change what we can.
Any promises made without the knowledge of what our Higher Power wants for us are empty. We must remember that we have turned our lives and our will over to our Higher Power, and that only our Higher Power can make the determination of what is best for us. Only our Higher Power can decide what promises we should make, because those are the only promises we will be able to keep.
The 11th Step in the Twelve Step programs reads:
“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him, praying only for the knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
Many of us concentrate on the first part of that step; we pray and meditate to strengthen our connection with our Higher Power. When we fail, by whatever means, to live up to our goals, the temptation is to redo our 4th Step inventory until we get it right. Before doing that, we suggest you read the 11th Step again, and concentrate on the second phrase.
In the second phrase of the 11th step we are actually praying for the power to perform our Higher Power’s will. Do not underestimate this power. It will allow you to become a conduit in your service to your Higher Power and to others around you. This power will allow you to make and stick to the resolutions you make; it will allow you to be the YOU that you know you can be.
We wish you the best of luck and remember, we are one with you in the spirit of this journey together. We are confident that with Higher Powered inspiration, our resolutions this year will be promises we can keep!
This article is part one in a two part series on step eleven written by John & Elaine Leadem, senior supervisors of the Leadem Counseling & Consulting offices in Toms River, NJ and East Brunswick, NJ. The content of this article is based on their book “One in the Spirit: Meditation Course for Recovering Couples“. Next week we will follow up our newfound motivation with part two of this article which will explore some more in-depth ways to practice the 11th step in our relationships. Until then we wish you a happy and healthy New Year!
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From Psych Central's World of Psychology:
Happy New Year 2013! | World of Psychology (January 1, 2013)
Last reviewed: 4 Jan 2013