Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hail to the New Year

I woke up at 4:00 am (again), and after an hour of practice and an hour of writing, I opened Facebook to see how the world is bidding adieu to 2016. Some are happy, most are mourning the things we lost in 2016, like Prince and Bowie and Reason. Some of you birthed babies this year, some of you lost intimate relations, and some of you are drowning in a sea of grief.

I have to say, I am with you.

While I didn't birth a baby or a book in 2016, I made a significant number of mistakes, several of which I'm still learning from. My yoga teacher friends keep asking me, “What is the lesson in all of this?” and I want to both thank them for asking, and hit them with my car. Because some mornings the lesson is that I have survived things I did not anticipate surviving – yay me! And other mornings the lesson is that the world has added a few bonus pitchers to the mound, and I simply cannot keep up with the swinging and avoiding, and I keep getting hit – hard – in places that haven't healed yet.

What I wouldn't give for a slow-mo button on life tonight.

Instead, I remind myself that I came here, to this exact moment, in this exact ocean of grief, with these exact tools to prepare me for what is next.

When we heal from suffering – when we remember that pain is unavoidable, but suffering is a choice – we become present for the rest of the people. We become a lighthouse.

I feel that tonight.

Old, beaten by waves. Sundamaged and a bit weather-worn in a few key places. But my light is still shining, and if I can guide your ship to shore or give you a beacon of light when you are floating in the oceans of grief, or allow you to swim with direction away from the sinking ship that you've been holding onto for dear life? So be it. I cannot save you from the weather, from the unruly waves or the undertow, and I cannot force you to leave the thing that is pulling you under.

But I'll be here for you, and you'll be here for me.

Or someone.

Let's take turns in 2017, ok? Let's share the wealth when we have it, ask for help when we need it. 2016 has taught me that pride is indeed a deadly sin. That solitude can be medicine, and isolation poison. That love can exist in a vacuum of trust, and that it doesn't always make sense. That I have a lot to learn, and a little to teach.

The Lesson has two sides, if you ask me. Two paths. We can become angry, resentful, and bitter – and that is ok. And when we're exhausted by the negativity, the loathing, the second-guessing, we can turn our backs to it and look towards the light.

Let's fly together, tonight, into 2017.

Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning.

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