So how is your New Year going? Did you make resolutions? Are you sticking to them? Are you making forward progress?
I’ve had a few hard scrabble years, since 2009. Nothing no more, no worse than other people and families have experienced. But, the things I have experienced have changed my life, and in some ways, changed me.
Gone is a lot of the natural optimism that I was born with. When before I could look at a half full glass and feel like I had plenty, now I look at the same glass and see that it’s half empty, and worry that it will be depleted before I can fill it again.
It’s become hard to have faith that the future will bring even the chance for improvement. Not the right energy, I very well know, to send out to the universe.
Somehow, despite my increasing negativity, things did show a slight turn for the better in December. So, I was encouraged that maybe 2012 would not be a year of doom and gloom, but instead, a year of opportunity.
My resolutions for the New Year revolved around taking action while the sun was in Capricorn. (Capricorn being a practical sign, one that focuses on success.) Basically doing what I could do, in the world of form as well as elsewhere, to fan the small flame of that new germ of good fortune into a stronger flame, one that would burn steadily and last a long time.
My mental analogy was my nightly duty starting the fire in our woodstove. Being a former Girl Scout, I pride myself on my ability to start a “one match fire” without the help of anything but natural tinder. Starting with the small stuff, gently feeding the fledgling flame til I can add pieces of gradually increasing size, until the fire takes on a life of its own.
That was my plan. I had some specific things identified to work on, both on the practical plane, as well as the mental/intuitive/spiritual plane. And the month started well. But over last weekend, I hit a speed bump – an unanticipated obstacle. I had been all set to start tackling some very difficult but necessary objectives, and then shit happened.
I was paralyzed by fear. I went back into the “cup half empty” mode, and instead of forging ahead with what I knew I had to deal with, I froze. Now, I’ve got some big things on my plate, and for them to be dealt with successfully, I am dependent on certain things happening in the right time. So that the glass will remain at least half full. That’s the scary part, will these things come into fruition? That makes it really hard just to forge ahead. And yet I am not going to get anywhere by not making a go for it, and starting the process, despite not knowing all the cards.
I was frozen for three days, not doing anything. And the longer I sat, the bleaker things looked. I knew better, and at some points cursed myself.
So sometimes, the universe intervenes, even when maybe you don’t deserve it. I came across a blog written by Alison Lilly today, and her piece “To Walk with Resolution”. Alison is a wonderful writer; the piece starts with a description of her family’s Solstice celebration, which included naming your fears about going into the longest night of the year. As one family member noted, “Going into the dark can be frightening….because you don’t know what’s coming.” Well, I definitely would second that! Alison had my attention.
Alison continued to lead the observance with these words: “On the longest night, we think about the hope and promise of the light returning and the days growing longer and warmer again. But going into the future is a lot like going into the dark.”
“Ditto!” was my immediate and out loud reaction to that.
Alison’s piece ended with words that helped me straighten out my road map, and get me going again:
“To walk with resolution into the future the way I walked into the darkness of the woods that night, open to all that is unplanned and unexpected that I will meet along the way. That is my hope. Fear and hope turn on the same tense music of uncertainty. That first walk on New Year’s Eve, Sirius Night, was the beginning. The first steps in the journey of the coming year.”
And so, after reading these words in the late afternoon, I found some success in the evening; I am re-energized. The tasks ahead are no less in size than they were before, no less daunting. But somehow now I have the vision of tunneling through the darkness and finding the light.
It’s one thing to make a resolution; it’s another to find the resolve to stick with them, make them happen.
I am also reminded of a definition from my past: Faith: belief and trust in things that are not yet before you, or realized.” (But will be.)
It simply entails putting one foot forward after another, despite what you can, or cannot, see before you. My Mantra for 2012 has now been revised to “Walking with both Resolve and Faith”.
But don’t just take my word for it, please read Alison’s wonderful writing: