A New Year


As we stand on the threshold of a New Year, contemplating what it is we would like to change within ourselves, there is no better time than right now to really feel into the deep connection between what resides in each of us, and what it is we are watching play out in the world.

This can be hard to see because none of us wants to imagine the darker sides of the world existing within us. And, because it is far easier to blame the world for its current state than to figure out how to change yourself to contribute to the world you would like to see.

This week, I’m going to do something I’ve never done: Share an entry from my journal. I do this in the spirit of my experience serving as an example of what is possible when one woman dedicates herself to looking closely at how she engages with others when the going gets rough.

I am aware that as I shed my fears around others and how they might respond to me, as I get more skilled in seeing what I see, as I get less willing to carry what is not mine, as I become less interested in doing penance for another’s dysfunction…I am able to be in a place of naturally and organically arising clarity and compassion for the one who stands before me.

More tolerant. More accepting. More appropriately boundaried. Less reactive. Less desperate to have them be something I need them to be. Separated from the morass of dysfunction between us, I am able to claim a piece of Earth to bear witness to them. Their struggles. Their magnificence. 

And in that moment, there is no separation between us. No difficulty we cannot resolve. No need to blame, shame, manage or control. No need to take on what is not mine. Instead, a naturally arising organic compassion that knows beyond the labels. That offers from a place beyond good/bad; right/wrong; what he said/she said.

A holy place beyond what you need to do and who you need to be to confirm my worldview and for me to feel safe. This is where I aspire to live. This is where I yearn to be with another.

For what I know to be true is this: The only way for me to find my way into this state of being is through the committed effort on my part to learn how to be with myself in such a way that I run down every single personal response to another and claim it as my responsibility to figure out why I feel the way I do. Why I think what I think and react how I react.

A lot of work. Yes. A lifetime of work. But the rewards are great. And vast. They touch the generations to come and reach into the past to heal the wounds of our ancestors. They lay the foundation of Life here on Earth, with others, based on what we all yearn for. Peace and love between us.

And so, it is no small thing to wonder about yourself. To dedicate time every day to ask yourself the question, “How’s it going for me?” To pause long enough to hear and feel deeply into a real answer, and then to set yourself to the task of pulling on that thread long enough to get to the end of how it is you are feeling. And why. 

It won’t happen overnight. Nor will it be easy. But in the end, when you come to know how you tick, you are more generous with how others tick. Along the way, those ticking time bombs between us, get defused.