Lather. Rinse. Do Not Repeat.
I came across yesterday’s journal entry just the day before, and of course I had forgotten all about writing it. And yet, don’t many of the words seem very familiar? I wrote it nearly a year and a half ago (long before the idea of blogging ever crossed my mind), and lo and behold, it’s one of my resolutions this year. Following through on my good intentions, on the internal prompts I get to reach out to people, falls under the Being Nice category, that resolution of ill-defined proportions.
As I look through my old journals and pick out pieces from this year or that, I see how consistent I am in my thought processes, my opinions, my desires, and in the things that I want to change about myself. Perhaps the biggest consistency of all is that I don’t change. I don’t believe that’s unique to me; I think it’s simply a characteristic of humanity.
To begin with, we don’t always recognize the possibility (probability?) that we need to change. It’s so easy to criticize other people and so hard to see undesirable characteristics in ourselves. And when we do recognize the uglier parts of ourselves – the thoughts or actions that repeatedly cause us heartache, discomfort or just minor irritation – they are quickly forgotten. We behave in ways that we don’t like and we suffer the emotional backlash (hurt, anger, sadness, distress), but life keeps moving forward and we are soon emotionally and mentally past the upset.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
I’ve long understood that I am who I am, and without putting diligent, targeted effort into changing things about myself, I will continually repeat the same patterns over and over. This is clearly evident in my journals: write about it; forget about it; write about it again a year later, using much of the same vocabulary, phrasing, tone and emotion.
One of the things that blogging has afforded me is public accountability. We are, as bloggers, publicizing our thoughts and opinions, our feelings and experiences. And this year, since I started blogging, has become quite a bit about facilitating change within myself, moving forward in a positive direction. Posting about it – knowing I will post about it, victory or loss – has helped keep me motivated to trudge on. I feel as if I’ve stepped off the treadmill and my feet are on the ground for the first time. And I may actually get somewhere.
I don’t expect that to be the last journal entry in which I chastise myself for not listening to that still small voice, for not reaching out to others, for not walking my faith. But I hope it’s the beginning of the end.