Have you heard of this “word of the year” trend? It’s a bit of a substitute for making new year’s resolutions. I haven’t made resolutions for years. Some time ago I realized the process of choosing resolutions and promptly not following through on them was a surefire way to set myself up to feel failure and subsequent shame… so I stopped doing it.
What happened next is that I started looking at every day as an opportunity learn and grow. I almost wrote change there because I think that was the intent at first, but since then I’ve learned that striving for constant change is remaining in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction with myself whereas being open to learning and growth is just being in the state of living, not always moving forward, but being.
I can see now that my failed resolutions were a product of not being connected to my true desires and not honoring the commitments I made to myself (because they weren’t commitments I really wanted to make!). When this happens often enough, a sense of self trust is lost. What’s funny is that if I were to make resolutions now I would be much more likely to be successful because I would choose things with purposeful intention and my relationship with myself is strong enough that I wouldn’t be willing to betray my own trust any longer.
I learned earlier this week about the idea of choosing a word for the year and before I was even through reading about it and thinking about whether I’d do it the word was echoing in my head:
Success is never a word I would have chosen before. I would have gravitated to a more that I judged as more “noble” like love, forgiveness, compassion… and those are the words I’ve been working with rather diligently the last couple of years. But I’ve done enough. Truly. They’ve received enough of my attention and affection that I’ve built a solid foundation in the values that are important to me. They aren’t going anywhere.
Late last year I was shopping at a jewelry sale and gravitated towards these bracelets that are a piece of cord with a single crystal strung on them. They were called “Prescriptions for Life” and were perfectly packaged in plastic cylinders that looked like medicine bottles. I picked up every single one and was putting the one that supported Love in my basket when I felt the “Success” and “Luck” (also: follow through) staring at me. I bought those instead… and those bracelets (that I’ve worn every day since) mark the first moment I allowed myself to prioritize success and accomplishment. That’s all it takes. Do one small thing to plant a seed and watch as it melts into your intentions and infuses your experiences with new life.
I am ready to experience success. I know I don’t yet know what that means, what it feels like, or what I will need to do or let go of to get it… but I am prepared to find out. Success is the word for this year. Success is the experience I will have. Success is what I’m worthy of.