What do I want to be new in my life?
What do I need to leave behind?
I think it might be necessary, as the New Year approaches, to leave quite a bit behind. This has been a miserable year for so many, and certainly a miserable year for our collective consciousness. There is indeed much to fear, much to fight for, much to revile.
Leaving behind and letting go does not mean ignoring. Don’t get me wrong on this matter: there’s much harder work yet to do because of the position we are in. It starts with changing minds and hearts on what matters most, and with meeting people where they are, with understanding while holding fast to belief. I have worked too long and too hard on social justice, on true connection with the God who made us, on openness to all as a way toward common good; I cannot and will not let that go simply because the new world order deems ignorance and cruelty and evil, or dismissiveness of others’ held beliefs and cherished rights, permissible. None of this is.
To look forward into the newness of life ahead, just beyond the parties and gatherings with family, sharing of food and gifts, leaving behind the bile and vitriol is necessary. Lightens the load toward something better, and makes us swift on our feet, ready to take on the charge we all know will be necessary when our new time begins, when we mark another passage in our human way.
We can step back and not look at this the human way, either—to consider God-view, God sense of time. If we ask ourselves what we want to be new in our lives, we can look forward to that newness, but it can also be right here, in the moments of sharing and gathering. It can be in each meeting, each moment we greet another, each time we feel accosted by injustice we’ve become ever-more aware of, but which has always been there. This renewal of self can come in the smallest of moments, and build in the biggest of ways, if we so choose.
I need to choose this; I don’t want to get caught in the wash of anger, but I do want to ride it beyond its simple chemistry. I don’t want to ignore what’s becoming increasingly more important. I have decided to choose newness in my way of reacting and thinking, to be creative in every approach. To find a new way to face each challenge, and think outside the lines I or anyone else has drawn around the problems, and perhaps even to embrace the problems and allow them to change me in ways I have not yet imagined.