“Dear Ones –
Perhaps we should all begin this New Year not with brand new resolutions, but with a giant gesture of self-forgiveness for all the resolutions of the past that we never kept.
Let us forgive ourselves for all the things we ever tried to do, but didn’t finish.
Let us forgive ourselves for the times we sabotaged our own best intentions.
Let us forgive ourselves for the diet that lasted only four days.
Let me forgive myself for that time I joined a really expensive gym that was RIGHT IN THE BASEMENT OF MY BUILDING, because — even though I couldn’t afford the fees — I knew that I would have to go to a gym that was RIGHT IN THE BASEMENT OF MY BUILDING…right?! I mean, what kind of loser can’t go down three flights of stairs to go to an amazing gym that’s right in the basement of her building? Except I only went three times during the entire year. (All three times in the first week of my membership, by the way. I know none of you have ever done something like that.)
Let us forgive ourselves for the pile of manuscript pages sitting in the bottom of our desk drawer, that we never quite figured out how to make into a novel.
Let us forgive ourselves for the daily meditation practice that we still have not cultivated.
Let us forgive ourselves for the forgiveness of others that we still haven’t learned how to manage.
Let us forgive ourselves for not being able to stop fucking swearing in front of kids.
Let us forgive ourselves for gossiping, and for beginning sentences with the phrase, “I don’t mean to sound like a bitch, but…” — and THEN SAYING THE BITCHY THING ANYHOW.
Let us forgive ourselves for letting another year pass in which we did not learn French, or read ULYSSES, or stop eating sugar.
Let us forgive ourselves for all the times we tried to do something of magnitude, but just couldn’t seem to get around to it.
But most of all, let us never let our failures, embarrassments, and shortcomings stop us from TRYING AGAIN.
Are you ashamed of trying again, because you feel like you are nothing but a screw-up?
Do you think you are out of chances in which to try again?
Trust me: You are not out of chances in which to try again.
Do you know how many chances you get to try again?
All of them. All of the chances. Forever.
Today and tomorrow, and this year, and next year, and all the tomorrows to come.
The chances never run out, so long as we are still here.
So let’s all forgive ourselves and then not be afraid to start over.
Remember — we are all just beginners. And we will probably all die beginners. But the only way a beginner can ever have the chance of advancement is by continuing to try.
This is our year, you guys! We can do it!
OR MAYBE THIS ISN’T OUR YEAR!
AND MAYBE WE CAN’T DO IT!
But that’s OK, too.
Let’s just try again, for the hell of it.
Because, seriously — what else are we gonna do with our time?
All of which is to say: I’m really going after it this year, you guys!
Liz Gilbert, Best-selling Author Of Eat Pray Love