Di Atherton in her Christmas blog of last week on looking back at the past year and looking ahead to the new year, asked the question of what you would leave behind in 2017 and what you would take into the new year? What is your word, your theme for 2018? This is mine:
Personally, my life this past year has been one of extremes and dualities. Ups and downs, highs and lows, happiness and pain, love and fear, despair and hope. It hasn’t been smooth sailing, but I’ve come to realise that that is okay. We have to experience the downs in life to fully appreciate and understand the ups. Some have referred to this as the divine dichotomy. In order for us to understand fully what love is, we first have to experience what it is not. A full life cannot just be happiness and feeling good. Reality is a mixture of experiences and emotions that are both easy and difficult.
The Chinese call this dichotomy the Yin and Yang – the idea that within darkness there is light, and within light there is darkness. “In Chinese philosophy, Yin and Yang describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Everything has both yin and yang aspects (for instance, shadow cannot exist without light).”
Once we accept that this dichotomy is part of life, life becomes easier to deal with. Ups and downs and pleasure and pain will always be there, but it is the way you deal with it that makes the difference. It is okay to sometimes not be okay, but at the same time it is necessary to take care of yourself. Only by putting yourself first and taking care of yourself will you have enough to give your loved ones. One needs to put the oxygen mask on oneself first before one can attend to the needs of others. For it is only when we take care of ourselves that we become the best possible versions of ourselves and only then can we give ourselves freely to love and be loved by others.
So what will I leave behind in 2017?
- Any thought that doesn’t reflect the best vision of me
- Fake people who act without integrity
- Anything that doesn’t feed my soul
- Worrying about things that are out of my control
What will I take into 2018 and what have I learned?
My words for 2018 are love and authenticity and gratitude. I hope to see love in all things and to choose love above all else and to live my life as authentically as possible.
What have I learned this past year? To allow people to be who they are and not to try to change them to fit into your world view of what is right. People are allowed to be who they are, you don’t necessarily have to agree with them.
What will I do this year to be more authentic and live in gratitude?
- I will choose love instead of fear, peace instead of hate, life instead of death.
- I will choose to live consciously, creating my reality as I go along.
- I will spend more quality time with my children.
- I will be more creative – painting, writing, sharing thoughts and ideas
My wish for you is that your year is filled with love, for that is all that matters. For when all the masks are stripped away, when all the stress disappears, when we become vulnerable, when our souls are naked, only then can we truly connect with ourselves and when we do that we can truly connect with and love others and in so doing, make the world a better place.