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Happy New Year

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Here we are, having survived another prediction of doom, facing a new year. If, like me, you’re not much for resolutions, how can we look at the coming year in a useful way? I like the practice of adopting a word, one that stands for something meaningful to me, usually something I want more of in my life.

I was thinking of expansion, but that was a big part of last year, so I came up with allowing. Lest you think it’s a strange choice, I shall explain my thinking.

While I am practicing being open to new things, I am expanding my experience, expanding my ability to take in new information without making it fit into my old paradigm. This is not particularly easy to do, I have to allow it to happen.

Things that I am learning to allow:

Feelings, both good and bad, without judgement or labels, but as teachers, to see what I still need to learn about myself.

Allowing people to be who they are, and loving them that way.

Circumstances to be as they are, sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but always only for a while, the meaning I choose is mine.

Allowing relationships to unfold as they will, or not, without needing to know what’s ahead, or trying to control it.

Allowing my thoughts and feelings to be, also without judgement or labels, defusing from thoughts and accepting feelings, until they pass on by.

This is a short list, I’m sure you can think of many more examples. You may have noticed that allowing is about freedom. Freedom from struggle, which brings pain and suffering, and who doesn’t want to be free from that?

If you’ve lived anywhere into middle age, you’ve probably learned some lessons. They are everywhere, in the positive and negative circumstances, in the people we know and love, in our jobs, in our creative life, in nature.

Life is one big collection of teachable moments, if only we are aware enough to see them as such. You also may have noticed that what you don’t learn tends to come back again, so it does pay to be open to our teachers, whoever or whatever they may be.

Allowing is so much more kind and gentle than judging, labeling, controlling or criticizing, whether the object is ourselves or others. It can help us be more compassionate to ourselves and others, which tends to make us more loving.

I like where this can go, I believe in being more loving, and anything I can do to help that along works for me. If you are of like mind, give it a try, you just might invite more love into your life, and that’s a very good thing. And if you think it sounds too wimpy, just try it! It will require every bit of power you possess.

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