I was walking down the street the other day, when I learned an invaluable lesson from a little boy, who is probably no more than three years old. He was walking with his parents, when suddenly he fell down. Seconds later, he got up, shook himself off and laughed. “That was fun,” he said, “I liked falling.”
What an incredible lesson. Instead of being afraid to fail, or embarrassed, or humiliated by falling, we can enjoy the process of learning as we work toward our goals. If we miss a step, we can shake the dust off and start again. Like the little boy, we can move forward with the brilliance of not taking ourselves too seriously.
Achieving our goals is just one step in the process of manifesting our blessings. One of the most significant rewards is what we learn when we resolve to be God’s fullest expression. Many resolutions end up on our list year after year because they are not merely goals, they are decisions to change. Change takes place through the growth that occurs while reaching our goals – by making mistakes and learning from them, by failing and trying again, by getting off track and starting again, by falling and getting back up.
Even when the Israelites fell – by being exiled from Jerusalem and sent to Babylon – going from a consciousness of peace and harmony to an environment of chaos and confusion, God promised them that they would be back. Stay the course, God told them, resolve to be your best: “For I know the plans I have for you . . .Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 2:10-11 NIV) Plans to manifest your prophecy, your dreams, your resolutions.
Our resolution to do God’s good cannot help but succeed “[f]or we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so that we may do them” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). Even when we believe that we don’t have what it takes, God performs the work that we are appointed to do. (Job 23:14 NKJV)
Joseph is one of the greatest role models of how to fall and get back up. He didn’t just fall into a ditch, his brothers put him in one and then sold him into slavery. Joseph’s life as dreamer and visionary provides us with several tools to help us fulfill the plans that God has for us.
Resolve to keep your dreams between you and God. One of the reasons Joseph experienced so much misery is because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He wanted to tell everybody about every dream that he had. Many friends, frien-emies and enemies operate from a consciousness of resentment and jealousy that is not always supportive of our resolutions. Even those who mean us good still project their fears and doubts on the clear canvas of our infinite possibilities. The only way to avoid wasting energy on their negative vibrations is not tell them what we are doing.
We often seek approval from other people. Out of our own insecurity, we want them to feel good for us when the only “one” we have to be accountable to is Spirit. We want to believe that another person’s support will somehow allow us to reach our goals faster. But the truth is that when we receive the divine ideas that are calling us, they have already taken shape in the ethers. Telling others about our resolutions detracts from our co-creative process with the universe. We waste time telling others “I’m going to do it,” when the universe is trying to teach us that “it is already done.”
Resolve not to succumb to temptation. We all have our Achilles’ heel. The Greek mythological legend teaches us that Achilles was dipped by his mother into a river which offered powers of invulnerability. Every part of his body was covered by the magical water except for his heel. Achilles grew up to be a man of war who survived many great battles until he was shot in his heel by a poisonous arrow. Our Achilles’ heel is where we are most vulnerable. We know we are making progress on the path towards our resolutions, when it steps out to trip us.
Our Achilles heel can be greed; it can be arrogance; it can be ignorance; it can be lust; it can be laziness; it can be fear. But Joseph teaches us that whatever our vulnerability is, it can be overcome. When Potiphar’s wife, representing desire, demanded that Joseph go to bed with her and later falsely accused Joseph, he took the high road by refusing to submit to the desires of the flesh or the fears of the mind. He paid a heavy price by going to jail but by doing so, he did not succumb to temptation.
When we sacrifice sense pleasure for spiritual fulfillment, we open the floodgates to the manifestation of our transformation. We grow in character and that growth will reward us eternally. Jesus was so serious about this principle that he said, “if your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:29) We know when we are being tempted – when we desire to do something lacking in integrity or harmful to someone else or even ourselves. But when we stay on the path of honesty, love and integrity, we triumph no matter what.
Resolve to leave the past in the past. Despite all the harm that was done to Joseph, he never cursed, condemned or sought revenge against anyone. Since he released the past, he was never stuck in it. Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “it is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” Manessah means he who forgets. When we worry about what we shoulda, woulda, coulda did, we begin stagnant like Lot’s wife. She became a pillar of salt. Regardless of what you have or have not accomplished, you can start where you are to make lasting changes.