And So Now I Find Myself Here, Again

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
— Maria Robinson
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Another trip around the sun draws to an end, leaving me alone with my thoughts through the long, dark, cold nights, before the light begins its slow return.

Poised between "last year" and "next year" is a good time to look back on how far I've come, and forward to how far I still have to go.

A year that started with so much promise saw me wander off the path more often than I want to admit and despite my best intentions.

Did I pursue my purpose doggedly, letting nothing stand between me and my calling?

In spurts, definitely, but other priorities emerged and compromises were necessary.

Did I maintain a relentless optimism, despite the many challenges that presented themselves?

I tried my best, but dark thoughts and self-pity were always lurking in the shadows, ready to take over if I would only let them.

Did I overindulge in things that I knew weren't good for me?

Yes, mostly when other people weren't looking, but I take solace in knowing that I at least did it consciously.

Did I live each day as if it was my last?

Not nearly enough, but tomorrow presents another chance.

365 days later and I remain a work in progress.

I sometimes mindlessly act against my own best interests.

I sometimes hide my truest self, even from those that love me.

I sometimes judge people unfairly, without knowing everything.

I sometimes fail to act courageously.

I sometimes think hurtful things and sometimes say them out loud to the people I least want to hurt.

I sometimes cede power over my emotional weather to people and things outside of my control.

I sometimes confuse other peoples' happiness with my own.

I sometimes let laziness get the better of me.

Despite these failures I choose to forgive myself. I try not to judge myself too harshly, so I can keep showing up to do the work. This seems better than just giving up trying altogether.

The world seems to continuously present me with exactly what I need to learn rather than giving me what I believe I want (for an easeful life; for a "happy" life). Here there are endless opportunities to practice being my best self, and a never-ending stream of challenges against which to test my resolve. All I have to do is remain open to them.

There will be more opportunities and challenges during the year that is about to begin. I don't know what they will be or what form they will take or when they will come but I know how to be ready for them.

Amor fati. This is my fate, and I have chosen to love it rather than fight it.

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