It’s a cliche to say that we are all “works in progress”. It’s not a bad or harmful cliche. I do think the work that we need to do on ourselves should be continual. That is the stuff of life itself.
But there are times in life, as I am learning, where it is not enough to adjust knobs and tinker with pieces. Sometimes you have to completely reboot the system, unplug and plug back in. I have reached that point. My world has been fundamentally altered and to pretend otherwise is foolish. To not adjust accordingly is suicidal.
I lost the love of my life through my own actions. I wasn’t just married to a good woman. I was married to a woman that many people consider to be the best person they’ve ever met. A great wife, mother, lover and friend… there is no going back for us and I have to accept that. We are great co-parents. We may one day be good friends again. Things will never be the same.
I lost my dream job. I lost the job I believed that I wanted for the last 14 years. I think I could have grown into it. I wasn’t perfect by any means, but I was good and I could have gotten better. It was taken from me. I feel betrayed. I can’t go back.
The church is an animal that eats its young and weak. I’ve lost my ability to connect in a spiritual community. That has to be recovered.
I can’t financially support myself. That has to change.
But the big thing… I discovered that I don’t love myself. That, above all other things, absolutely must change.
Yesterday, my sister posted a picture of uber-handsome actor Idris Elba and commented that he kind of looked like me. I posted a picture of him next to my current profile picture. The resemblance is somewhat uncanny. I took it down though. I’ve spent too much of my life wanting to be someone else, comparing myself to others, or seeing myself through the eyes of others.
This year I am dedicating myself to being more disciplined. This is not about punishment for my sins. This is about developing the habits that I think a healthy me should have. This is about investing in me in ways that I have so often invested in others. This is about a firm belief that if I am healthy, I will bring health into the world. This is about a belief that an authentic Derrick is the one thing the world is lacking that I alone can contribute.
This is about my boldly affirming who I am and who I am becoming. To that end…
I am a father and I dedicate myself to being all the things for children that I would have wished for my younger self.
I am a writer and I dedicate myself to working on the craft of writing and that includes taking significant time daily to read as well as write.
I am a music lover and I dedicate myself to more fully immerse myself in listening to and playing music.
I am a physical being and I dedicate myself to daily caring for my body through exercise and moderation in consumption… yeah, I’ll leave it at that. That includes making sure that I get in several races this year. Who’s in?
I am a spiritual being and I dedicate myself to daily centering meditation, spiritual reading, prayer and to finding spiritual community. This also includes owning my role as a spiritual guide for others and finding healthy ways to live into that part of myself.
I am a child and i dedicate myself to those things that ignite my childish exuberance. In other words, if you thought I geeked out before, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
I am an adult and I dedicate myself to taking responsibility for my mistakes, being honest, taking ownership of my actions, and making amends whenever possible. That means making myself open to being held accountable.
I am a son, brother, uncle and I dedicate myself to restoring, rebuilding, renewing, and reinvigorating relationships within my family system.
I am a friend and I dedicate myself to being the kind of friend that my friends have been to me this year, not out of obligation but out of genuine love and gratitude.
I am an introvert and dedicate myself to respecting my own boundaries.
I dedicate myself to discovering what I need and want in a partner and discovering what it is that I have to offer another person in an intimate relationship.
I dedicate to developing my professional career in a way that is authentic to my values and beliefs, honors my skills, and provides for myself and my family.
I dedicate myself to experience myself as loved, lovable, and lovely.
I read this article earlier in the week. I like a lot of what it has to say, especially the commitment to myself in the first point. I put my name in it. You may want to do the same. Feel free to remind me of these things from time to time.
I, Derrick Laroy Weston,
Make a commitment to myself,
To spend so much time improving myself and my life that I have no time for worry, judgement, criticism, whining and complaining;
To forgive, release and let go of my attachment to any past struggles and allow every challenge life sends my way to make me better not bitter.
Starting now, I make a commitment to let go of what’s behind me and start appreciating what’s in front of me;
To let go of all the pointless drama, all the toxic relationships, thoughts and behaviors that are present in my life and to constantly shift my focus from the bad on to the good;
To make room in my heart for love, happiness, peace and tranquility and to create my life from a place of infinite choices and possibilities – the present moment, and no longer from a place of limitations – the past.
I commit to staying true to myself at all times and to never betray myself just so I can please other people.
I commit myself to give up on toxic thought, behaviors and relationships but never on myself and my dreams.
Starting now and starting today, I will begin rebuilding my life and to make it ridiculously amazing.
Derrick L. Weston
Oh… one last thing…
Suck it, 2014!