enter the new year whole

Today we ask that you enter the new time with a whole heart.

What does this mean?

Life cannot be truly lived when you do things half-heartedly.

To do things half-heartedly is to do things partly out of true desire, but also partly out of fear, guilt, obligation, or calculation.

Any action undertaken out of fear, guilt, obligation, or calculation is, at best, a half-hearted action.

This means that you spend your life doing things that you do not really want to do.

Sadly, many people spend their lives this way.

They go to school half-heartedly.  They enter a profession half-heartedly.  They marry half-heartedly.  They have children half-heartedly.  Every day is spent in half-hearted action, in doing things that they do not really want to do.

No wonder so many people are depressed.  No wonder so many people need medication just to get out of bed in the morning.

At some point, usually in childhood, many of you bought into a completely false worldview.  This worldview says that “You can’t really do what you wish in life.  Life is all about doing things you don’t want to do.  That is what it means to be responsible.”

So — don’t expect to marry someone you truly love, don’t expect to do work you truly love, etc.  Life is a chore, life is a burden, life is gritting your teeth to get through things.  That is what it means to be responsible.  That is what grown-ups do.

What a horrible lie!

The reason children go to school half-heartedly is because most of the teachers who teach in schools are half-hearted about teaching.

Many of you perhaps have been fortunate enough to learn from a teacher who taught wholeheartedly.

Learning is not a chore, when the teacher is wholehearted.  A wholehearted teacher creates wholehearted students, who are genuinely engaged and motivated to learn.

Likewise, some of you may be fortunate enough to be in a wholehearted loving relationship.  The person you are with is the person you wish to be with, with all your heart.  As a result, the relationship is not a chore, but something you believe in.  This does not mean you won’t face challenges, but facing the challenges is not a chore.  It is something you want to do.

It is entirely possible to be wholehearted in your relationships, in your work, and in every single action you undertake.

If you want to know the “secret to success,” it is this.

Successful relationships are wholehearted relationships.

Successful work is wholehearted work.

Successful life is wholehearted life.

It is really this simple.

So, as you enter the New Year, ask yourself:

How do I do things half-heartedly?

How do I do things wholeheartedly?

Take inventory.  Really look at your life.  Where are you doing things half-heartedly?  Where are you doing things out of fear, guilt, obligation, or calculation?

When you find those things that you do half-heartedly, ask yourself, “Is there any way I can do these things wholeheartedly?  Can I become more present, committed, loving to the self, and loving to others in these actions?”

Wholehearted actions are defined by love.  They are acts of giving, and receiving love.  Please note that one must receive love in a wholehearted action; one must love the self.  Martyrdom is not wholehearted; it is always connected to guilt and obligation.

If it is truly impossible for you to do something wholeheartedly, then perhaps you should not do it at all.  Perhaps you need to put that energy into wholehearted actions that you can do.

Really be honest with yourself.

There is nothing responsible about spending your life doing things out of fear, guilt, obligation, or calculation.  People who live this way tend to be poor teachers, parents, friends, lovers, and workers.  You really aren’t helping anyone, living this way.