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It’s a new year so it must be time for resolutions to improve our bodies and our lives. We promise ourselves this is the year we’ll lose weight, eat better, exercise more. We make meaningful commitments to find a new job, go back to school, pay down debt, get our homes in shape, our careers in shape, our bodies in shape, our lives in shape. The majority of even the most sincere pledges for the new year are forgotten or broken before the month is over, let alone the year. What surprises me is in the midst of all of our vows to improve our circumstances we ignore the one difference in our lives that is capable of delivering lasting peace and enduring change. We cannot polish the surface while ignoring the true causes of disorder in our lives, and yet expect meaningful results.

If we are to transform our lives, we must work from the inside out. We must resolve to nourish our souls more, even if at the same time we commit to nourishing our bodies less. As we resolve to unclutter our outer lives, we must also resolve to clean up the chaos and confusion within. The soul needs room to breathe as much as our bodies require oxygen to go on living. Fortunately we are unable through our neglect and indifference to bring about the death of our souls. But we can lock them away until our spirits are so filled with despair, there is little to distinguish their miserable existence from a non-existent state. Their current circumstances might be so desolate our souls might welcome death over a life without even the smallest acknowledgment they even exist at all.

So here is a list a resolutions for the soul:

1. I will make a true effort to get to know my eternal soul and find out what she needs in this current life to be happy.
2. I will make more time and more room in my life for meditation and spiritual pursuits. I will do this by spending less time in front of the television and less time online.
3. I will reintroduce my soul to its eternal creator or deepen their existing relationship through the study of scripture and other spiritual offerings.
4. I will give to others more and worry about myself less.
5. I will learn to control my thoughts and focus my concentration in any given situation on the highest possible outcome, rather than dwell on the worst possible scenario and how to protect myself from the fallout.
6. I will be more polite and less judgmental.
7. I will forgive petty slights and do my best to forgive larger and deeper hurts.
8. I will strive to remember hate is not the opposite of love…indifference is and avoid both.
9. I will make time to be alone…to pray, to commune with nature and a larger universe, and recognize I am only a small but irreplaceable piece of a greater, beautifully woven whole.
10. I will remember when God answers one of my prayers with a ‘no’, instead of the ‘yes’ I so desperately prayed for, chances are He knows what He’s doing and I would be better served to wait to see how the situation plays out rather than try to argue my position with the omniscient creator of the universe.

It’s January 1st. I truly hope my resolutions last longer than the next 30 days. My very soul is depending on me.