Well, looking back on my New Year’s resolutions from last January, I’ve been a dismal failure this year.
I started a photography class but dropped out because I’m too busy.
I’ve made progress on the South Africa book about healing, but am nowhere near a workable first draft.
I went to church a couple of times but certainly haven’t started going regularly and, frankly, am not sure whether I’ll start going regularly this year either. The thing is, I want to belong to a supportive community that really tries to make a difference in the world, but where to find that good community is the problem. Every time I think church might make a good community, I’m reminded of all the horrible things church people I know have done to me and appear to do regularly to other people without remorse.
Just as a teensy-tiny example, I was looking at a photograph of somebody on Facebook, and one of the church people I used to know made the comment “so-and-so is gay” and one of the other church people I used to know responded with “Jesus hates homos” and I thought, “There you go. That’s exactly why I have no freaking interest in going to church. Jerks like that are pretty much the last kind of people I want to hang out with.” It’s true that you find jerks everywhere, but why subject myself to them on a weekly basis? I know lots of good church folks who are nothing like that and if church was filled with those good kinds of people, I’d be there; but in my past experience, the good folks do not outweigh the icky ones. And my past experiences make me pretty gun-shy to try it ever again.
My Spanish, Portuguese, and Zulu still suck but working on at least one of those languages is something I still want to do as I look forward to 2010.
For the other resolutions on my list: I think I have resolved some of my workaholic tendencies and I am more transparent/vulnerable in my writing. I didn’t walk a half-marathon but I did amp up my exercise considerably this year. I think I’ve started to forgive myself for being human, but I still have a long-ass way to go.
But looking at my list, I realized my final resolution was truly inane, not on the face of it but for me. I stated that “I’m going to learn to love others the way I love myself.” It’s been this year, really, that I’ve realized the problem with that statement is that I don’t really love myself. In fact, I’ve finally become conscious of the fact that 9 out of 10 mornings, I wake up with the lingering thought, “I hate myself.” So how am I supposed to love others the way I love myself when I don’t even love myself?
So this year, my resolution is very, very simple, and it comes from one of my all-time favorite Bible verses, Micah 6:8:
“He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
So that’s it. For 2010, I want to serve the cause of justice, act towards everyone with mercy, and respond to others and myself with humility and grace.
May it be enough.