It’s late on New Year’s Day, 2015.
I have tried to reflect on 2014, but I keep falling asleep (yes, I’m sticking with my serious reduction of caffeine so sleep is still happening at an alarming rate). Wise words on a year so full of both incredible experiential highs and difficult emotional troughs will have to wait. Perhaps forever…who knows?
For someone who has always loved the Christmas season and been a huge fan of the transformative power of Christmas spirit, I was slow to realize my own impending “George Bailey” crisis. (Please, read this synopsis of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” if you don’t get that reference.) Like George, I entered the holiday season feeling weary, poor, and a failure. And like George, I discovered that the love of family, dear friends and yes, even the intervention of an unlooked-for guardian angel, could transform my perspective.
In truth, what was broken in me was my vision, my perspective. I have been constantly comparing myself and my current life against my recent past and/or my hopes for the future. In these comparisons, I always find myself wanting. Ironic, isn’t it – coming from the person whose most popular post this year was aptly titled, “Stop Weighing Yourself!”
As I took in the warmth, generosity and love showered upon me at Christmas, I couldn’t help but see the shabbiness of my view toward myself. There are some pretty amazing people who love me, support me, believe in me. Who see me as a person with gifts to share. Who don’t weigh me against my past or my potential – who just hold me as I am right now. My self-absorbed wallowing in “this isn’t how I expected it to go” does each of them a disservice. First, because in my self-focus I don’t give back as good as I get from them. Second, because it is like telling them repeatedly that they’re wrong to care.
The angel Clarence writes to George, “No man is a failure who has friends”. So, to my amazing friends, I say a heartfelt thanks for pulling me through the darker days and helping me see the error of my viewpoint. As the new year moves toward the light of sunshine and longer days again, I plan to step into the light as well.
My word for 2015 is “Ignite”. I’m lighting a trashcan fire and burning the useless crap I’ve been carrying around in my heart. On the positive side, what has been potential must, finally, feel the lighted match of intent and catch fire. What is superficial must burn away to make room for what is more deeply real. And the love in my heart for each and every one of you must catch fire and be seen like a beacon from near and far. For 2015 (with apologies to Katniss Everdeen), I’m the girl on fire.
Those are big words. Big words, but not just talk. I know the reality will come to pass in small steps: goals set and met; course corrections when necessary; a thousand daily choices to be positive, to contribute, to connect. Finally, I feel ready to exercise my talents in service to something more than merely making it through another day.
It’s the first day of 2015. Ready or not…IGNITE!