New years resolutions- Moving to the next level-character

Hey guys,
I wanted to talk about something today..
I wanted to talk about moving to the next level in life.
I think of personal growth as a kind of circular path...you keep learning the same lessons...
only at a deeper level.
Here's a for instance.
first you learn not to do bad things.
Things like drink to excess or steal.
You learn that and you feel pretty good about yourself.
Then you begin to feel pretty cocky and you start feeling superior to people who do those things.
Until you come up to your point of personal failure.
It doesn't matter when or how...at some point you will come to know that you are as capable of stupidity and mistakes as the next person...and you learn to go a little lighter in the judging department.
Then you start judging the judgers.
Intolerance of their intolerance as it were.
As if you have never done it.
I heard the word heathen used in an actual sentence as a form of judgement today.
I had a good inner laugh at the person's expense...(the person who used it, not the person it was referring to...) and then proceeded to judge them for judging.
Which I must say I have done a million times.
We can discern. But God is the judge.
My goal this year is to not worry about the state of others personal progress.
Not the person still in that first step...not the judgers....or the judging of the judgers...(say that three times real fast)
I want to waste aproximately no time in judging, assessing, or dissecting an other's character.
My focus this year will be on mine...and in turn that will transform how I interact with others.
It will transform how I react to situations, to possibilities and to other's percieved character deficits.
In the end...the only person I can control, or change, or better,
is me.
And my children will learn by my example.
what I do speaks much more loudly than what I say.
My kids know I love them, not because I TELL them...but because i make them my priority.
It shows through my actions, not my words.
For years now I have been wishing I could simply stop talking and allow my actions to speak for me.
Unfortunately, people like you to speak.
But I can speak less.
More succinctly.
and to realize that I can be tactful and truthful.
to say only what is kind and true.
I am going to strive for that.
And to live in a way that shows what my priorities and beliefs ARE.
It is only a matter of doing.
Of intentionality.
I want to be whole.
I want to be a person of integrity and honesty and good will.
A person of charity and kindness.
A person others don't feel judged by, but feel they can trust and rely on.
A person who, when they speak, others can be sure that what is about to come out of my mouth will not be backbiting, or spiteful, or prideful..
But sincere, honest, and kind and well thought out.
I want to be disciplined in my mind, spirit and body.
Not asking too much now am I?
But these are lessons that can only be learned through trial and error.
So I will make mistakes.
I will be less than, but hopefully I will grow.


Julie Lost and Found said...

LOVE this! Wonderful post. Lots of wisdom here.

Happy New Year!!

Karen Butler Ogle said...

Great post and a good reminder to me. I do find myself judging the judgers. I would have to say also that I'm intolerant of the intolerant. Something for me to work on.

Lanie Painie said...

I hear ya sistah. I had for my motto for a long time "If there is one thing I can't tolerate, it's intolerance" because really, it's so natural to become a Judgy Judgerson and if we don't focus on NOT being that person, we are doing ourselve a disservice. The most difficult part is wanting to point out to people that they are being judgemental, but not being able to say it in a non-judgemental way. It's one of the ongoing life paradoxes I suppose. A better motto would be "that's between them and God" I suppose.

These are the things I think about as well. I remember years ago Dr. Phil talking about the "oulds" being a red flag of judgement and saying to my husband "should he really say that? Couldn't he be judging by saying that? Wouldn't that put him in the same place?"

Anonymous said...

In a perfect world we would only be judged by one - Judge Judy! Kidding, of course. There is only one true judge, after all, God.

Your post makes me think of the song, What it's like, by Everlast. Here's a couple of the lyrics that hit me hard -

"We've all seen the man at the liquor store beggin' for your change

The hair on his face is dirty, dreadlocked and full of mange

He ask the man for what he could spare with shame in his eyes
Get a job you fuckin' slob's all he replied

God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes

'Cause then you really might know what it's like to sing the blues
Then you really might know what it's like ..."

We are all doing the best with what we have at the time. We all struggle, make mistakes, feel pain ...

Love your post.

Robin said...

I don't have a good comment for this post, but I wanted you to know that I read it and appreciate it. You have set the goal high. Brava!

M Pax said...

I enjoy reading about your journey and growth. Great going, Chris.

Sheilagh said...

this is another of your posts I have save. You are an amazing writer Christine,

outdoor.mom said...

good wisdom :-) i too have been thinking about a plan for the new year. i am thinking about doing 365 days of sit ups/abd work in 365days. Good luck with your new years resolutions!! keep up the good blogging!

Anonymous said...

Re: your goals for yourself. Me, too. Deb

Rettakat said...

Loved this, Chris.

Reminded me of the year I decided I would take on all the attributes about Love, from I Corinthians 13. Um... that was quite a few years ago, and I still haven't made it past the first 2: Love is patient, love is kind.

Methinks I would do better to take a simpler approach, like yours here. :-)

Judging the judgers... had to crack up over that one, seeing as how I am guilty of that one too often!


Mary Ellen said...

These attributes that you are striving for in the new year are all traits that I have appreciated of yours through the years. We've always been honest with each other. I've never felt judged by you or uncomfortable about telling you anything (once I figured things out for myself, that is).

Sure, we made comments about others' choices and so forth back in high school, but there was no malice or hatred involved. We also never talked behind each others' backs or were disrespectful with each other--a rarity in high school friendships.

This honesty and so forth was easy for us because we knew we could trust each other. Judging others is really a way we protect ourselves. Judging others deflects attention from ourselves.

For example, my mother would NEVER go to a bar and have a drink. If she went to a restaurant that had a bar, she would never order an alcoholic beverage. She has always been extremely judgmental (she still is) of people who go to bars and have a good time drinking and so forth.

Mom did her drinking at home. She was up over a fifth of vodka a day for several years, many times starting before 2:00 in the afternoon. Still, she did not see her drinking as a problem because she did not drink and drive (she wouldn't leave the house once she started drinking for the day) and she wasn't "one of those people" who drank at a bar. Thus, she saw herself as superior to those people. Judging them as bad people made her feel better about herself. Even now that she does not drink (she'll be 2 years sober in March), she is still very judgmental about people who go to the bar. In fact, she is pretty judgmental about anyone who drinks these days.

My mother is a very judgmental person; she is a very unhappy person. I believe the two are very much intertwined. It is very difficult to be happy when you are constantly trying to find some way to knock someone else down so that you see yourself as superior to him or her.

Ms. PJ Geek said...

We, who read you, can only aspire to be as succinct and open about where we set the bar for ourselves. Happy New Year. Great reminder about what counts.

Tricia said...

great reminder for us all

happy new year

Anne H said...

Happy New Year, New Chris!
*looking good!*

bbubblyb said...

Happy New Year Chris! What a terrific post. I want to be that person too. I've always felt you already were Chris. Love reading what you have to say about character.