I haven’t been very excited about the new year. I didn’t feel that burst of renewal and excitement of what’s to come that it seemed like I should. I’ve had many days full or the winter doldrums lately. Things just don’t seem to change. Or get easy. Maybe they got easier, but they are not easy.
So I was feeling very ambivalent and grumpy about the new year. Even at times downright depressed and cynical. But then I read these posts:
Ann over at A Holy Experience stymies me every time I read there. This post reminded me that any change I could hope to see come over me and my life in this new year must come as a result of the wind of the spirit. Gosh does THAT take the pressure off. It’s not about my ‘resolve in my resolutions.’ It’s about the work of the Holy Spirit. All I can do is to put myself into a posture to be moved by Him.
Then there’s Jen Lemen’s irrepressible expression of her real self and encouragement for each of us to find our own real selves. She reminded me hereto stop taking myself so seriously–to stop being so ‘goal-oriented’ about what I expect out of myself and out of the year and to learn how to ‘seduce the most true me.’ She reminded me how important it is to skip, and play with play-doh with my kids, to write, to kiss my husband, and to snuggle with him often, to bake cookies, and sit by fires, and drink hot tea, and cider, and cocoa.
So it’s not about me. I can’t make this year be any better or worse than the last. I can’t fix any of the situations that cause me pain or anger or frustration right now. Any resolutions I make to lose weight, or be more organized, or even to be kind or more gentle or more Godly… I can’t WILL myself into any of those. I WILL fail. Many times. But if I lighten up. If I bend to the breeze of the spirit, renewal can happen. If I remember to play and to actively love the things I love, joy can be born and reborn.
That gives me hope in today, and hope in 2009. It makes me stop looking down in loathing and self-hatred at my perfidious body who has gained far more than a few holiday pounds. It helps me to stop flagellating myself for the state of my house or the behaviour of my children. It gives me hope that light is going to come into the dark, barren places even still.
It allows me to embrace my humanity.
It allows me to be me.
It allows me to be.