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Do you take New Year’s resolutions? And if you do, do you keep them?
Personally, I find it hard to keep them. That is why I decided several years ago not to take New Year’s resolutions at all. There are things that I “aspire” to such as being more compassionate, open-minded, generous and non-judgmental. But you can’t call them NY’s resolutions. In fact, and you will maybe laugh, my role model is Mother Theresa. She was such a selfless, loving and compassionate person so if I can one day have a speck of her qualities, I will be happy.
New Year’s resolutions are often connected to material things. You are supposed to get slimmer, go to the gym, get a better job or get promoted, get richer (or die trying). It is all about “getting”. And at the end, none of this counts. You can’t take money, your house or a beautiful body with you. All that matter are memories, time spent with your loved ones and friends.
One of my friends shared with me Pope Francis’s speech that he gave in homily/sermon before New Year’s Eve. He could not have said it better:
“You can have flaws, be anxious, and ever angry, but do not forget that your life is the greatest enterprise in the world. Only you can stop it from going bust. Many appreciate you, admire you and love you.
Remember that to be happy is not to have a sky without a storm, a road without accidents, work without fatigue, relationships without disappointments.To be happy is to find strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in the stage of fear, love in discord. It is not only to enjoy the smile, but also to reflect on the sadness.It is not only to celebrate the successes but to learn lessons from the failures. It is not only to feel happy with the applause but to be happy in anonymity. Being happy is not a fatality of destiny, but an achievement for those who can travel within themselves.
To be happy is to stop feeling like a victim and become your destiny’s author. It is to cross deserts, yet to be able to find an oasis in the depths of our soul. It is to thank God for every morning, for the miracle of life. Being happy is not being afraid of your own feelings. It’s to be able to talk about you. It is having the courage to hear a “no”. It is confidence in the face of criticism, even when unjustified. It is to kiss your children, pamper your parents, to live poetic moments with friends, even when they hurt us.
To be happy is to let live the creature that lives in each of us, free, joyful and simple. It is to have the maturity to be able to say: “I made mistakes”. It is to have the courage to say “I am sorry”. It is to have the sensitivity to say, “I need you”. It is to have the ability to say “I love you”. May your life become a garden of opportunities for happiness … That in spring may it be a lover of joy. In winter a lover of wisdom. And when you make a mistake, start all over again. For only then will you be in love with life.
You will find that to be happy is not to have a perfect life. But use the tears to irrigate tolerance. Use your losses to train patience. Use your mistakes to sculpture serenity. Use pain to plaster pleasure. Use obstacles to open windows of intelligence. Never give up …. Never give up on people who love you. Never give up on happiness, for life is an incredible show. ” (Pope Francisco).