Big Shifts. . .
We arrive yet again at the beginning of a new year. Undoubtedly, we are feeling both reflective as we look back at the year that has past, as well as hopeful and curious as we look ahead to the year to come and the joy and wonder, as well as pain and heartache that inevitably will come. In the midst of it all, we encounter a cultural expectation to change, to grow, to stop doing this or start doing that, we embrace the concept os starting with a “blank slate” of sorts.
Whatever was regrettable or unwanted in your life this past year, we believe with the turning of the page we are given a new opportunity for growth. And whatever may have been commendable or desirable, this too can continue to grow and flourish. And of course in many ways this “great reset” is both good and right. We should seek to grow and deepen our lives in ways that are virtuous and true. Yet as you reflect and prepare, I offer this simple thought.
Life is bigger than our own self-improvement.
It is exhausting to maintain a storyline in which you are constantly at the center of the universe – If every relationship, activity, and conversation is viewed as a supporting role to the story of “you.” Its quite a role/job to maintain and will have you destined for yet another year of great discontentment and anxiety. Why? Because meaning is never self-fulfilling but is found outside of ourselves.
Make your aim for this next year to live a life of understanding and contentment. When we are focused on being the starts of our own stories, we are desperate to ensure we don’t feel left out, unacknowledged or forgotten, so we crave information, and involvement whether it is the latest gossip or the hottest controversy, ensuring we are always “in the mix.”
This year, we can discover the freedom that comes from embracing a small and, dare I say, unseen life. We can slow the pace and steer clear of the constantly stimulated and chronically anxious world we have, fueled by fears of irrelevance and obscurity. We need to simply slow our roles and be more conscious of the information and sources we fill our lives with. We need to learn to embrace contentment, and be more focused on what that is and can be for our days and minds.
Peace and Love, Jim