I’ve never been a fan of the ‘new year, new you’ message that floats around at this time of year. There is nothing wrong with setting goals or targets for yourself, but I believe that truely loving the person you are, the person who God made you to be is the best New Years resolution that can be made.
I believe it is much harder to learn to love yourself in today’s society. We are bombarded by the media, by the vastness of the online world to live a certain way, to look a certain way, and to think a certain way. Marketing up to Christmas tends to be, ‘spend as much money as possible and eat as much food as you can before the new year.’ Yet as soon as January 1st arrives the message changes to ‘get yourself to the gym you overindulgent wretch’ and ‘lose a million stone before Easter so you can put it all back on in Easter eggs.’ I wrote an essay recently for my MA on the power of consumerism and how it can and does have a debilitating effect on our lives. People are being pulled, but not in the natural seasons such as Spring, but by shopping seasons. We know what time of year it is by what is on the shelves and when the sales have started. Fruit and veg are available all year round, imported from around the world. I saw red tulips on sale recently, a spring flower available here in December. All seasons are becoming one with Earth’s resources becoming a 24hour supermarket, a supermarket that isn’t even open to all.
It is so difficult to keep a foot on the rich and worldly wise Earth that we inhabit. It is so difficult to look in the mirror and love what we see. Yet God looks at us with such unconditional love, we are his creation whom he loves. When Jesus walked a human life it was his deeds, his love, and his words that made him shine as the light of the world. His inner glow radiating out to all those who follow him.
But what about us? Can our inner beauty be seen through our outer appearance? I’m not talking about clothes or make-up here I’m talking about our personality. Can our smiles say a thousand words, can the joy in our eyes lighten up someone’s terrible day, can our good deeds bring love to people who desperately need it, can we laugh at ourselves when we are wrong or have made a mistake? Can we remember that we are not perfect?
We are beautiful, imperfect people who come to Christ for forgiveness. That forgiveness allows us to start again, to keep moving forward doing more good than bad. But we’re not perfect so we regularly come to Christ for forgiveness to set us out on the path again on a lifelong journey of faith.
So this new year, don’t focus on changing who you are, focus on finding out who God has made you to be. Ask him through prayer to show,to guide, to encourage, to forgive. Listen and reflect, read and feed your inner self, and love the person you are called to be. Through this prayerful relationship our inner beauty will shine through and everyone will see him through us, through our deeds, through our smiles, and through our words.