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Let’s face it, using excuses is simply our oh so human way of justifying what we don’t want to face. Excuses are defensive. They are feeble attempts to absolve us of our guilt or relieve us of worry. They are the main ingredient of denial.

Excuses wear many disguises: procrastination, explanations and justification.

Excuses are not a substitute for taking responsibility for what we don’t want to see.

And excuses do not facilitate positive change.

Instead excuses thrive on the perpetuation of our wrongs even if our wrongs are just assumptions.

While we may injury others with our excuses, the person most harmed by these justifications is us, for we have to live with knowing we unintentionally lied. And, we have to live with consequences of doing so.

I had a lot of excuses once…reasons I felt the way I did. I was wrong. It wasn’t allergies. I was sick.

I had a lot of excuses once…reasons I was tired all the time and snapping at people. I was wrong. It wasn’t from working too many hours or not having enough time for myself. I was sick.

I had a lot of excuses once…reasons my body hurt all the time. I was wrong. I wasn’t getting older. I was sick.

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More than sick really, I was developing a painful chronic condition that will be with me now for the rest of my life.

Excuses allow us to become deafened to things that would actually be in our best interest to hear. If I had paid more attention to what my body had been telling me, my lungs might not be as bad as they are now. Perhaps, I could have received treatment sooner and while this would not have cured me, maybe, just maybe, it would have prevented some of what I am going through now.

I’ve learned a lot from my illness but one of the most important lessons is to live honestly in reality and not explain away things that I fear or don’t understand. Human nature makes this a constant challenge because it is our inclination to deny things that are unpleasant to face, but not facing the things we fear will only make those things stronger.

So today, I choose not to make friends with excuses. I don’t want to justify what I shouldn’t. I want to face the uncertainties of life with enough faith that I do actually have the strength to get through them.

I want to be my best self and if I decide not to do what is in my best interest or the best interest of others, then I want to be big enough to just admit it.

So I make no resolutions for the coming year, but I will continue to strive to live a more honest life for myself and for the people I love and I will no longer be friends with excuses.

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