I’ve never made any serious New Year’s resolutions. I just vowed – actually, just hoped – to be a healthier, more active, kinder, smarter, and overall better person. Which isn’t bad. Everybody should strive to be better. But I wasn’t really that motivated to make a positive change within, aside from December 31st/January 1st and sometimes Lent.
But now, after thinking about everything that’s happened and what I want for myself – and after a restless night of thinking about everything which is all too common for those of us trying to sleep – I decided to actually make a real New Year’s resolution and vow to treat myself better.
It was all inspired by this Tumblr post by user romanovvidow:
“Treat yourself the way you treat your favorite characters. Look into your back-story to understand your current plot. Sympathize with yourself. Recognize your flaws, and appreciate your strengths. Defend yourself. Cheer yourself on when you go into battle. Appreciate every relationship you make and always look for hidden potential. You’re the protagonist in your story. You’re the main character. You’re the hero.
Treat yourself like one.”
Isn’t that amazing? Of course you should treat yourself with the same devotion and respect you have for your loved ones, real or fictitious. Actually, especially fictitious. It’s what a lot of people do: we love these characters like a devotee would their deity, and like a parent their child. It’s an interesting relationship, actually. We call these characters our idols and our babies, and we memorize their back stories and defend them from evil naysayers. There are a lot of layers to this love, so why not mimic this and apply it to ourselves?
And so, my New Year’s resolution is to treat myself like my favourite characters.
I will analyze and understand my past in order to make sense of my present and look into the future. I will create fun and meaningful head cannons that will explain why I do what I do and what makes me me.
I will look at my relationships and never take for granted my loved ones. I will nurture the relationships I share with my most beloved. I will improve what needs to be improved. And as for those that aren’t helping anybody or can be let go… I will let go. And it will be okay. Because I know that this is meant to be and everything happens for a reason.
I will be able to connect the dots and see how I have come to where I am today (like how Ted Mosby and Tracy McConnell meet, and hopefully with a better ending because I’m still not quite over that).
I will revel at my strengths, come to understand and appreciate my weaknesses, and marvel at how beautifully human I am. Because I am a rounded character with a real personality and a unique story.
And if I do something wrong or (this next word makes me cringe) problematic, then it will shape me, just like everything else does. It will add to my character. It will teach me (and hopefully you) a lesson. It may not be forgiven; it will not be forgotten. And that’s okay. Flawed characters are the most beloved, because they’re relatable. They show us what people are really like, and that good things can happen despite everything. And that people will love you no matter what.
I remember doing a vinyasa flow class at my yoga studio, and the instructor talking us through a pose. She reminded us that we are so busy with the universe around us that we forget to look inside and marvel at the universe within. Those words struck something within me and I actually teared up. I was so moved at the idea that there is something so precious and vast inside of me, inside of all of us. I was reminded of this idea again when I was reading Eat, Pray, Love, and Elizabeth Gilbert was meditating in an ashram in India. She said that her first spiritual encounter with the divine felt like something inside of her was pulsating throughout her body. And she explained that these experiences that happen while you’re in a meditative state are encounters with the divine. And this got me thinking… I want to have a more spiritual connection. With what or with whom, I don’t know yet.
So, how does that relate to my resolution? Well, treating myself like my favourite character means that I will keep myself in good shape (yoga). I will know simultaneously that there is something much bigger out there and that I am full of untapped potential (spirituality).
I could go on with this resolution and what it means to me, but unravelling every special little knot that makes me who I am will take years. Because that’s probably how long this resolution will last. Treating myself like my favourite character will be quite the journey, and I am so thrilled to start.