“Now let us welcome the New Year, Full of things that have never been.” —Rainier Maria Rilke
It’s certainly been the year of the unexpected—not just here at home, but the world over.
The unexpected has visited governments, homes, offices, relationships, marriages, friendships, health. Death has come a-visiting far too often this year, in many homes. Six thousand and counting, and the war goes on.
But then, there were many unexpected blessings as well, small and big victories here and there.
Sometimes you just had to look harder than usual, but they were always there. They could be found, if we looked hard enough, not with our eyes, but with our hearts.
How does one remain steadfast in times such as these? How can one stay positive amid so much negativity?
It always begins with the self—by choosing battles, prioritizing what matters and not spreading oneself too thinly, cocooning and shutting out the noise of the world whenever necessary, building impenetrable personal barriers.
Silence does not ever mean apathy. Not all men and women enter into a war with their guns blazing. There are many who keep silent but work just as hard, or even more, much more than those who like to rant and rave. How many Jews did Oscar Schindler save? Although, okay, some of those who love to rant and rave work hard, too.
There are many fears and anxieties about the year that lies ahead. If we overthink it, we’ll all have one form of mental health issue or breakdown. In life, there are many things beyond your control.
But life and the Psalmist also teaches, “though weeping may last through the night, joy cometh in the morning.” Always.
Some years are just more challenging than others. And 2016 was one such year.
But upon us now is a brand-new one—365 sunrises on which we can choose to live from our hearts.
It took me a while to learn how to live from my heart, but when I did, amazing changes came forth. When you live from the heart, you learn and realize that living a deeply rewarding romantic life requires only one person. Yes, you read that right.
Martha Beck wrote: “When you’re living from the heart, every moment brings another chance to fall in love. The only thing you must do to live a deeply romantic life is to base every decision you make on love: self-love (the most difficult love that often takes women a whole lifetime to learn); love of others; love of ideas, activities, and places; love of smells, tastes, sounds and textures.
Living this way brings romance into the smallest, most ordinary moments and leads to a lot of large and extraordinary ones. Love will always be stronger than hate, and more powerful than any dark force on the planet.
I pray that you learn to practice and master the kind of love you need to steer you calmly through the year that lies ahead. A new year is a new journey into uncharted waters filled with all kinds of possibilities. Stay open, surrender to the unfolding of each new day, and accept the Divine gifts that each day brings.
Arm yourself with hope, courage, love and kindness. Never get tired of shining your light in all the dark places.