Around this time of year many people talk about how they’ve failed at keeping their new year’s resolutions. The truth is that the basis of self-care is self-love. When we love ourselves, we commit to changing for the better. When we love ourselves, we’re able to persevere through the challenging times because we know we’re worth it. When we love ourselves, we can more easily accept that falling off the wagon is part of the healing journey.

If you’re one of those people who swears by goal setting just before the new year, then I’ve got some happy news to share with you. We’ve got the third new year of the 2022 calendar coming up on March 21 – Nowruz or Persian New Year. Nowruz, or New Day in Farsi, happens at the very second that the vernal/spring equinox occurs. The holiday is celebrated for 13 days.

Nowruz marks a turning point, the symbolic triumph of hope over despair, as goodness (the light of spring) conquers darkness (winter). This metaphor can also be applied to our internal struggles with commitment to change and serve as a reminder that every moment is an opportunity to choose differently.

We have two voices inside of us – the voice of the inner critic and the voice of the inner guide. Which voice is louder for you? Which voice do you listen to? Do you become frozen by the voice of the inner critic – harsh, fault-finding, punishing, and not giving you credit for all the good that you do and all the good that you are? Or are you soothed by the voice of your inner guide – nurturing, putting your mistakes in perspective, making amends, and giving you permission to begin anew?

A Native American folktale speaks eloquently to these two voices.

A Cherokee elder is sitting around a bonfire with his grandchild, teaching him about life.

“There is a battle going on inside me,” he says to the child. “It is a constant fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf is filled with anger, envy, jealousy, fear, regret, shame, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other wolf is filled with humility, gratitude, acceptance, patience, joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, and compassion.”

He leans in close to his grandchild and whispers, “The same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person too.”

The child grows silent, thinking about the profound nature of this lesson, and then asks, “So Grandfather, which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee smiles with a knowing look and replies, “The one you feed.”

This Nowruz choose to feed the wolf of love within you. The wolf of self-love, self-kindness, self-forgiveness, and self-compassion. And, like nature, begin anew.

If you need help strengthening the voice of your inner guide, contact me.

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