By Imani Williams
Many of us made resolutions at the beginning of the year hoping to make a change for the better. Some of us made promises to ourselves, and some of us made pacts with others, to change things that we believe are keeping us from being our personal best.
The changes may include things like weight loss, smoking cessation, being better with finances, losing a relationship that isn't working and in some cases opening up our hearts to the possibility of romance or true friendship.
As we go through the motions and plans to create a better us, our desired results usually move in the direction of improving ourselves physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
We are opting for total well being, where all things connect and balance. With this we can get the ultimate life experience. When we're in balance with the universe you can bet we're at our best, centered and moving with grace and an appreciation for life and living.
That appreciation allows us to expand our world and vision. We're able to feel compassion for others and see beyond just our needs. We take care of ourselves, feeding our spirit with nourishment for a mind and body that is healthier.
As healthy individuals we have a genuine concern with making the world a better place and using our time here wisely.
When we don't feel good about who we are or are unsure of our purpose and our gifts it shows. It may manifest in a variety of negative ways, including substance abuse, fighting, promiscuity, lying and stealing. We may not even reach for our potential because we don't believe we can.
A person who is emotionally unhealthy is often unhappy, with a deep hurt that they carry inside. When left unchecked the person becomes bitter and resentful.
Money doesn't guarantee a healthy well being. Neither does power or success. Every living being has a personal responsibility to determine and define what well being means to them.
In the quest for total our well being, we want to check in on a regular basis, being totally honest with ourselves and the process of self-improvement. By asking ourselves if we are being real with the person in the mirror and assessing if we are operating with integrity in our personal lives, we're taking a big step.
If our answer is yes, then these qualities generally carry over into the other sectors of our lives. In general if you operate with integrity and are trustworthy, it is who you are. You can't turn it on and off.
Many of us at one point or another have a need for healing. Whether or not we decide to deal with this fact can impact how we live our lives, treat ourselves and determine how we treat others.
On the path to total well being we may experience self doubt so profound that we begin to dislike who we are. This will have a negative effect on how we view life and how we live it.
Anger and feelings of inadequacy, as well as feelings of superiority are all recipes for ill feelings that can turn toxic.
Hate is toxic, coupled with fear and an unwillingness to address why these feelings exist can be lethal. Lethal for us individuals, for our relationships and for who and what we can become. It stunts us. It renders us 'stuck' in one spot unable to move forward. For a person to harbor hate in itself is poison. It eats away at you from the inside. It is painful and causes misguided actions that are sometimes unbearable and irreversible.
This is why forgiveness is so important and not very easy. A person who can't forgive relives a negative experience or hurt over and over until the pain runs through their mind like cancer. It can also cause physical illness to move through your body, mind and spirit.
This is where we all have an opportunity to grow. Spiritually we grow from the inside. Recognizing wrong and standing for what is right is spiritual and emotional growth. From this growth we experience a richer and deeper love for ourselves, our neighbor and for those who may be less fortunate. We also grow spiritually when we take the time to learn and understand something or someone who may be different from us. Life is full of lessons to be learned. The lessons can be painful, and whether we get them the first time around or choose to repeat them three or four times is up to us. Just know that in the divine order of things you don't move forward and in sync until you get the lesson. Ultimately we each hold the key to making our life's journey a fruitful one. If we choose to walk and live in love, we pass the ultimate lesson with flying colors.