Not Keeping New Year’s Resolutions
Every year on New Year’s day, many people make resolutions, mostly for appearance and health, for exercise and weight.
Some pray that their lives will greatly improve than the year before. They pray that they can change themselves forever, by setting unrealistic goals, and then give up. They want to fill up the holes in their hearts.
With COVID-19, things are different this year. Many, including me, pray to be able to live and afraid to die.
We live in isolation. This is the first time, that just walking outside becomes dangerous. It becomes very poignant the amount of time that I spend with my family. We hold dearly our plans, that we will travel, spend time with family, and see friends. This is our hope.
What to Do in Isolation
What can we do in the meantime, of this isolation? What do we do with New Year’s resolutions?
I plan with my husband to focus on prayer and meditation, walk together, and work in the garden.
A garden to get ready for a new year and the spring, to put new soil and manure, take out weeds and old plants, prepare for new plants to grow.
I have another rose that lost all its leaves, and must be dug out and placed out in a pot. I must care for it tenderly. Is this not how we should take care of our souls?
Purifying our Hearts
Recently, I read a book about taking care of our souls. We clean ourselves before prayer, wudu, to purify ourselves, but do we do the inward purification to purify our hearts?
What would be our New Year’s resolution is to purify our hearts from envy, anger, resentment, and others things.
Our bodies express what is in our hearts; that our minds think badly about others, our eyes look at things we should not, our ears hear things we should not, our mouths backbite and slander, our hands touch things we should not, our feet go places we should not go to.
Results of Not Purifying our Hearts
How can the mind purify itself when it sees violence? How can the mouth recite the Quran or anything beautiful and use the same mouth for obscenities? What about the eyes that see God’s creation, and use the eyes to see ugly things?
Cleaning our Hearts
We can make cleaning our hearts as our New Year resolution. And we can work on our own minds and bodies to follow the example of the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and obey Allah the Almighty.
We can reflect our inner kindness, purity, and respect to others. And we should be mentally kinder to ourselves, and not abuse our minds.
We create our own hell on this earth and in the afterlife. This can be the consequence of our thoughts and actions.
Getting our Acts together
As Americans we say, “to get your act together, to clean up your act.” We resort to all kinds of actions and addictions to keep us from facing ourselves and the pain we cause others and ourselves.
We have many holes within our hearts. Should we cause pain to others that have had inflicted upon us? In our darkest times we have felt pain and desperation because we have been hurt by others. We have felt empty because of that pain.
How can we not feel empathetic for what others go through? How do we fill up those holes within our hearts? And how can we purify our minds?
The highest form of spiritual development is to want for others what goodness you have for yourself, and to give generously. If we have been neglected or abused this in our past life, we should be be grateful that you have survived to improve this quality and be an example for others.
Gratitude brings back the innocence to the heart and makes our lives more meaningful. Look towards God’s creation, and be a part of it. Express it through the gifts that Allah has given you through art, writing, and other expressions.
Forgive those who have hurt you, although forgiveness is the hardest thing on the earth, when we are so used to feeling pain. Feeling pain becomes habitual, as well as blaming others. Whenever disaster happens, pray for others.
Valuing our Time on this Earth
As we wait for the New Year, we should learn to value our time on earth, and to train our minds to be healthy and pure. We should learn to consider our time on this earth precious and to prepare for the hereafter.
We should live God-centered lives. We do not know if next year will be our last on this earth. We should learn to live for the moment that Allah has given us, and do what we can for that moment to improve our lives, and be an example to others, by making our hearts pure.
This is the best New Year’s resolution.