NEW YEAR'S WIDOW RESOLUTIONS
I, AMAZINGLY FANTASTIC MEMBER OF WIDOWS WEAR STILETTOS, RESOLVE TO:
1. Acknowledge that I am still here. Although I have been through a devastating, life-altering event, it is because I am still here that makes me entitled to a life filled with abundance and happiness; regardless of how much or how little time has passed since becoming widowed. I do not have to wait any specific amount of time to begin my Healing Journey and accordingly, I will not feel guilty; nor will I doubt or question my pursuit of a life filled with happiness and peace.
2. Realize that my Healing Journey is mine. It belongs to no one else; not even to other widowed people. It cannot be compared to anyone else or to other experiences. It is neither fast, nor is it easy. I cannot "hurry" my grief; even though there may be people around me who want me to and wish I would. I will therefore truthfully honor however and whatever it is that I am feeling; rather than let any opinions around me dictate how I "should" be feeling or what I "should" be doing.
3. Be kinder to myself in all respects. This includes eating when my body asks me for food (and no, Cheetos© and Diet Coke © do not count as "food"), sleeping when my body needs rest and rejuvenating myself through whateverhealthy pursuits will fill my soul. My self-talk will be impeccable and uplifting… and on the days that I don't believe in myself or my ability to heal, I will turn to those who can "breathe belief" into me; rather than turn to those who will bring me down and keep me there.
4. Realize that my identity and my self-esteem have nothing to do with my marital status, what I look like, what the number on the scale reads, my career path or any material accumulation. Rather, my identity and self-esteem come from within and I recognize that what others think of me is not half as important as what I think of me. To that end, I recognize that not everyone will agree with what I do or how I go about doing it; however, as long as I am not hurting myself or anyone else and all of my legal and moral obligations are fulfilled, I will pursue the life that I wish in the way(s) that I see fit
5. Part 1: Limit any time with Energy Drainers and allow those that contribute to my life in a positive way to help me on my Healing Journey. As my comfort zone continues to expand, I will accept invitations to lunch or dinner, a movie or offers of help in the household; understanding that letting others help is also part of the healing process for those who care about me.
Part II: Be the one who initiates invitations for lunch, dinner, a movie or other quietly social activities with those who contribute to my life in a positive way; rather than always wait for others to do the asking.
6. Accept that I cannot control the fact that I am widowed or the new life that I have been handed – but I can absolutely decide and control what I am going to actually do with the new life that I have been handed. I will therefore make a list of what I would like to do and / or accomplish this year. It may be a new hobby, a pursuit or activity that I had to give up and want to resume, trying new foods, meeting new people or exploring new places. Whatever I decide to do or try, I will do so with the understanding that by exploring new opportunities and experiences, I am not forever turning my back on my past…rather, I am taking control of a situation over which I have had little or no control by slowly embracing a future of my choosing.
7. Continue to be proactive on my Healing Journey, rather than simply waiting to feel better. I will accomplish this by utilizing whatever tools I need that will help me along my Healing Journey; as well as by surrounding myself with the support of others; be it online or in-person, who each understand exactly what I have been through.
8. Acknowledge that it is not a sign of strength to try and heal alone; nor it is a sign of weakness to seek help. This includes consulting with my doctor, a therapist, a coach, a cleric or any other expert that can help me move forward on my Healing Journey in positive and productive ways.
9. Understand that when I actually pay attention to and effect these resolutions, I will become a more productive and stronger parent, employee / employer, child, sibling…and WOMAN.
10. Above all else, I acknowledge the certain truth that while widowhood has definitely shaped me, it does not now, nor will it ever define me. I refuse to be defined by tragedy; rather, I will choose to define who I am and the legacies that I carry forward.