The root word for “resolution” is the word “resolve.” This is a beautiful word.
As a verb, it means “to solve a problem or a dispute.” This could be something personal and internal (the classic weight loss problem!), or an ongoing family imbalance. In these cases, it is an action you take to change.
As a noun, though, the word is more beautiful. It is deeply personal. It means “firmness of purpose.” This is the solid determination that sets in once you decide to take action.
When I think of the noun “resolve,” I think of my mother. If she had her mind set to do something with us, as children, she never seemed to waiver. The plans set, the logistics organized. She wasn’tinflexible. But her “firmness of purpose” got our otherwise unwieldy pile of kids out the door.
The word “resolve” itself can be taken apart as well. “Re” means to doing something again. “Solve,” as we understand it commonly, is to find a solution.
But as flawed beings, we knows solutions are not always the end of things.
You’ll be glad to know that to solve also means “to obtain the root of” something. I am thinking about the yucca plant in my backyard. I “dug it up” two years ago. Hours of digging and sweating and I pulled out a root bigger than a breadbox.
I thought that I had “solved” that problem. But enough of the root remained, and now a big, beautiful yucca has returned!
I’ll have to find a resolution. One that truly gets to the root of the issue. And I won’t be ready to do that until I have resolve. A firmness of purpose to understand what really needs to change. (Maybe I need to learn to love the yucca?)
When you are thinking about your “resolutions” this year, remember the noun “resolve.” It’s a beautiful, multi-layered idea, that begins inside each of us.
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