It’s February. Which means that statistically if you had set any new year’s resolutions, they aren’t going well. The question however is: should I give up or get back up?
With the rest of the 11 months ahead, the question some of you might be asking is,
“Should I give up or get back up?”
January 1st, New Year’s Day, represents to many if not all of us, a new beginning. The dawn of possibilities and opportunities. For fat loss, muscle gain, love found, and insights discovered.
We are creatures that crave newness. New mercies, new opportunities. new life.
We like new. New is good, and old is bad.
Unfortunately for most new things, they turn old. What was once the beginning of a new year, a new you, a new life, soon turns out to be, not that at all different than the old year, old you, and old life.
Bur for those who made resolutions, commitments and decisions, to do, be, and live differently, can we make February the new January?
Can we make February the season of acknowledging our humanness, our propensity towards temptations and indulgences, and can we resolve, commit and decide once again, to put first things first?
Give yourself a break and don’t give yourself such a hard time.
Mistakes happen. Pizza happens. Sleeping in happens. Bad decisions happen.
And we can either accept that we are without access to power, and give up on our vision of a new self and a new life, or we can try again.
We can either give up or try again.
We can either fall down and stay down, or get up and go down.
Life is not a race. And although many like to use the metaphor instead of a marathon, I prefer a different type of run.
A snowboard run.
Snowboarding is one of those activities where you can’t give up. If you do, you’re stranded on the face of a mountain. You have to get up. And you have to go down. You don’t have the option.
When it comes to life, might we all consider and benefit from looking at it, more as a snowboard run. Falling fact first and wiping out, are simply natural and normal conditions to the run of life.
There is no failure, just falls.
So you fell. That’s okay. We all do.
Why not get back up and get on down?
How do I know if I should give up or try again?
Well, let’s take a look at addiction.
In Gerald G May, M.D.’s book, Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addiction, May lists out the common patterns of self-deception the mind adopts in order to continue the addiction(s) its developed. May notes that they do not necessarily happen sequentially but instead overlap and often repeat.
1. Denial and Repression
‘the conscious mind studiously ignores or rejects any signs of increasing use of the substance. Not only does the person not recognize that a problem exists, she doesn’t want to think about it.
She doesn’t see any reason even to consider it. This is denial. [Eventually]… the person now recognizes that addiction exists, but he keeps the knowledge unconscious… He must always keep his mind either occupied or dulled, so that no clear space opens within which the conscious realization might occur. Moments of peaceful openness and self-reflection, which may have seemed so pleasant in the past, are now actively avoided.’
‘Whenever denial and repression fail, the addicted person realizes some kind of problem exists. The realization calls forth a new defensive maneuver, which is to rationalize, to make excuses in an attempt to justify the addictive behavior.
These rationalizes are not intellectual lies; the person actually tries to convince herself that they are true. “I need a drink because I feel depressed.” “I deserve a drink to celebrate.” “I have to have these pills to help me sleep.” “Life is short, why not enjoy it?”’