After the din of family gatherings and New Year's Eve parties, people return to daily life with raised expectations. Many make a list of New Year's resolutions to help guide them through 2014. Often these lengthy lists make you feel pressured rather than directed. By the end of February, a large number of people return to their old bad habits and forget their New Years resolutions completely. It really doesn't have to be this difficult or overwhelming.
We can all make one New Years resolution that is simple and covers all the basics. Consider the words of John 15:12, ""This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you," Take it a step further and recall the words of Romans 13:10, "Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." When we love each other, we are doing the right thing. We are not holding a grudge or feeling jealous of what our neighbor has. Love is the simplest commandment to remember yet often the hardest one to apply to our daily lives.
Often we rush around to try to fulfill all our human responsibilities. Each day, people go to work to earn money to pay the bills. They hurry to their workplace then handle their duties as quickly and efficiently as possible. But are we doing our jobs with love and thankfulness in our hearts? Many times we wake up and wish we could stay in bed. We might be displeased with our jobs, bosses or other work conditions. All of it seems much better when we realize how fortunate we are to have work for our hands to do and money to pay our bills. There are people all over the world who are unemployed, homeless and starving. Instead of feeling dread when we head to work, we should rejoice. Each task should be thoughtfully performed with love rather than handled on auto-pilot with resentment.
When we are done with work and head home, we may curse at traffic on the road or feel trapped in public transportation. Do we ever take time to smile at a fellow driver or the person sitting next to us on the train? A smile can go a long way toward making everyone feel positive. After commuting, we might tell our loved ones to leave us alone for awhile rather than embracing their presence. This year we can be glad to return home to a family or fur baby that loves us. Give kisses and show some love rather than isolate yourself to "get over" the day. Avoid having a drink and reach out to show love instead. Even if you live alone, you can make plans to do something with or for someone else.
Stagnancy is another culprit in our lives. We feel lethargic and unmotivated. This year we can get up to take a walk, take a class in a subject we like and volunteer our time to help others. This type of love improves the world around us. We learn more, give more and feel happier. Inadvertently, when we love each other it also benefits each one of us personally. The work we do becomes pleasurable rather than painful. We network with others and find innovative ways to pay our bills. You might even decide to change your career or become part of a major cause to help people. The sky is the limit when you start with love in your heart!
Happy New Year to all with lots of love.