This New Year I have decided to be grateful for what I have, and who I am.
I’m ashamed to say this has not always been my course of action.
In the past, around this time of year, I’ve always felt unsettled and discontent.
I can’t count the number of previous New Year’s Resolutions, and goals, I’ve made that were fueled by a “lack of things.”
I’m not pretty enough. I’m not thin enough. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have enough. I want more. If I have more I’ll be happy. If I move, I’ll be happy. If I get that job, I’ll be happy. If I buy this house, I’ll be happy. If I eat this, if I drink this, if I smoke this cigarette—I’ll be happy.
This is the way I used to think, and feel, and be. There was a never-ending void inside myself—a blackhole of “want” that ate away at everything light.
But not now.
Now I’ve decided to feel content. To choose to see the world, and my small role in this vast life, as a place of abundance instead of poverty. And this change of perspective has been surprisingly difficult.
It’s amazing how challenging it can be to let go, even if the very thing we’re letting go of is the source of our suffering.
So, as a reminder to carry a more gratitude-centered attitude into the New Year, I’ve compiled a list of 10 quotes to remind myself, and anyone else who’s struggling with optimism, to see the world through a more abundant, and loving, lens.
1. “Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.” ~ Salvador Dali
2. “We can always choose to perceive things differently. We can focus on what’s wrong in our life, or we can focus on what’s right.” ~ Marianne Williamson
3. “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’ ” – Audrey Hepburn
4. “The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.” ~ This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life (2009)
5. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.” ~ Marianne Williamson
6. “May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art—write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” ~ Neil Gaiman
7. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” ~ Helen Keller
8. “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
9. “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore
10. “You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” ~ Joseph Campbell
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
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