A fresh blanket of snow, glittering and wondrous in the dazzling light of a cloudless sky, is the perfect canvas for the start of a new year.
2021 ended with such fragile, exquisite beauty, my heart was soaring with the hope that everything was coming together at last. Then, 2022 began with a painful, jarring reminder that my past lessons continue to repeat themselves. A reminder that I am solely responsible for some of the things I allow in my life.
I’ve chosen to live in the grey now for quite some time. There is more context and meaning when one moves away from either-or, and all or nothing. Empathy lives in the grey. Compassion feeds off muted, washed-out tones. I see myself in others through this foggy lens, and with these eyes, I can afford more grace.
Some of the most powerful lessons of my life have been gathered over the last four years. The greatest being that I am my own best source for everything. This doesn’t diminish my capacity to connect or to be open and vulnerable. True autonomy allows for softness and transparency because I know now that if I am not received in the way I need to be, I already have all that I require to live the kind of life that I want.
What are the things you value above all else? This list is a compass by which to steer every decision, every direction you choose. This values compass navigates the grey like a lighthouse beacon.
If you value family, this doesn’t mean that you must choose family over all else. It means that you can choose friends and partners who also share deep family values.
If you value independence and freedom, it doesn’t mean you should be alone. It means you can align yourself with others who also need solitude from time to time and who have a vast array of their own passions to pursue.
If you value stability and security, it doesn’t mean you should slam the door on situations that feel unsteady. It does mean that you should nurture your own stability and security while you observe how the swirling grey might move and shift to a reality that better aligns with what you value.
The clean slate of a new year is truly an opportunity for a fresh start. I will move ahead, grounded in self and certain of my worth. This is my story, in which I take on huge personal challenges in the hopes of bettering myself and creating more stability and security for myself and my children.
I’ve realized my theme for 2022. This is what I will dedicate myself to; growth, courage, stability, and security. If the choices and relationships in my life cannot align, then I will choose other directions.
And because I love the grey so much, I recognize that growth and courage are most certainly going to lead to some measure of instability.
Some adult in my childhood long before the days of GPS and Smartphones had a compass stuck on the dashboard of their car. The thing contained water, and any bump in the road would create a tiny tempest under the bubbled dome. The directional points would swirl and toss and then eventually right themselves again.
I’m watching my life like that little device. I’ve got both hands on the wheel, and I’m steering around the biggest potholes. There once was a time where I was perpetually off-roading, and it was as messy as you might imagine.
Happy New Year. Thank you for spending some time here with these words. If you’ve arrived at your own theme for 2022, I’d love to read about it in the comments below.