Find grace, not judgment in new year

Published: Thursday, January 2, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 2, 2003 at 1:36 a.m.
Nature continually presents us with a fresh start - a new day, a new season, a new year - another chance to get it right.
I'm grateful for the wisdom and reassurance in that. And I'm grateful for the compassion and the grace in that. I don't want to move on with disregard for a chance to choose again.
I want to make wiser choices. I want to love from a purer heart. I want to do what I haven't had time to do, be the person I haven't had time to be.
I want to do it with conviction and enthusiasm. I want to step up to the plate, knowing that there's more honor in trying again than in giving up or becoming indifferent. I want to give it my best, knowing that my best is a little better than it was before, knowing that my best is enough.
It is in that spirit that I begin a new year with a list of reminders. Maybe some of them will make your list. Let's find grace, not judgment, in them. And when we fall down, let's take a deep breath and start again.
  • I will listen more. I will say more in fewer words.
  • I will see the pain behind the anger, and I will help heal the pain instead of fueling the anger.
  • I will withhold judgment and, therefore, the expression of displeasure.
  • I will allow others - including my partner - to select their own resolutions.
  • I will ask for more favors and demand fewer rights (setting a better example for 2-year-olds and teen-agers).
  • I will give more and receive more.
  • I will look for what's right and reinforce it.
  • I will let love dispel what may be wrong.
  • I will not give up on the climb for lack of an elevator. I will take one step at a time, knowing that each step is preparation for the next.
  • I will choose as though I cannot fail. And I will not fail.
  • I will remember that I can always learn something from a challenge - and that learning it is more important than pointing out what my partner, or somebody else, can learn.
  • I will remember that my example says more than my words and that somebody is always listening.
  • I will remember that kindness and indifference both get easier with practice. I will practice kindness.
  • I will be grateful for what I have. I will share it. And it will multiply.
  • I will remember that darkness is only the absence of light and that a light cannot hide in the darkness. I will be a light.
  • I will judge my success by how well I live my truth, not by how well my truth is received.
  • I will go outside more often. I will feel the sun and the breeze more often.
  • I will run farther, and feel less resistance and more buoyancy.
  • I will live in the present, knowing that I am more than I have ever been.
  • I will base my words, my actions and my life on love. And I will remember that everything I really want is a byproduct of doing that.
    Maybe you don't need a list of reminders to live in love. Maybe standing at the water's edge or walking your favorite path in the woods is reminder enough.
    I hope you'll heed whatever reminders work for you and make a fresh start whenever you need one.
    In doing so, I know you'll build the relationships you want - whether you're looking for a sweetheart, trying to connect with your kids, or grow a business.
    Happy New Year!
    Jan Denise Soroka is a columnist, author and speaker based in Florida. She invites comments and questions through e-mail at; or visit her Web site at
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