Friday, January 4, 2008

Year-End Intentions

Rather than make a New Year's resolution which, to my mind, sounds like an all-or-nothing proposition, I'm thinking about a different strategy for effecting life change. Talking about New Year's intentions brings to mind different gradations and nuances of change.

I've been wondering what New Year's intentions for anxiety could look like in a person's life. Rather than resolve to "attack" or "tackle" anxiety, what if one merely had an intention to limit anxiety's control of one's life? An intention might include an acknowledgement that anxiety will be present at times in one's life, but it doesn't mean that anxiety should choose one's life course. And if sometimes anxiety's influence feels overwhelming, acknowledging that anxiety may be more powerful in certain situations but less so in others may help to quash the idea that one must be in control of anxiety at all times.

An intention, to me, is a belief that helps guide our thoughts and actions. It is not predicated on a certain outcome, unlike resolutions.

In trying to live a life less affected by anxiety, we succeed in living out our intention, no matter what the outcome may be. It is in the trying where we might be most pleasantly surprised by our successes, be they great or small.

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