Here we are again, staring down the chimney of the holidays of late December and the end of yet another year. I don’t know about you, but the last twelve months have turned out dramatically different from the New Year’s resolutions I had imagined in my mind last December!
For years, I have made lists of the things I planned and hoped to achieve in the upcoming years. I found some success and also experienced a few failures in completing my collection of resolutions each year. This year, however, I find that nearly everything on my 2015 list has been blown to smithereens!
Although January felt somewhat hopeful, February hit me like the “perfect storm” as they say, rushing in with a vengeance and never fully blowing out to sea!
So much for getting my website revamped and finishing my latest book, along with taking that trip to Italy I’ve been dreaming about for years! Instead, I have found myself enduring the losses of many friends and family members across the country and slowing down my life so I can help care for my grandmother who lost my beloved grandfather earlier this summer. I can only imagine the grief she is feeling. (What am I complaining about, right?!) Experiencing such an array of personal losses has insulated me into a sort of cocoon that makes me feel isolated from the world.
I like to think that in every experience there is a lesson that helps to make me kinder, more conscious, better educated, and even wiser. This year is no different, but I have to admit that it is pushing the envelope of sanity.
That being said, feeling isolated isn’t always such a bad thing. Challenging maybe, but it’s not always bad.
For anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one (including your pets), you know how empty and final your world feels, especially in those first moments of recognition, that life as you knew it will never be the same. The loss of intimacy in the forms of shared ideas and tender moments, all the way down to familiar routines and daily conversations seems to be lost forever. Those realizations can plummet us into unfamiliar feelings of grief which in turn, can isolate us from those who love and care about us.
Before you think I have sunk to the depths of depression and completely lost my mind, I’d like to explain what I have learned from this year and how it has helped me to find more consciousness and kindness in my life. I think I even gained some hard-earned wisdom from 2015.
Maybe something I share here might resonate a spark of curiosity or a measure of conviction in you. After all, even science is telling us we are all connected, not only through our genetics, but how we relate to each other in our conversations and interactions. “It’s the little things” that make such a big difference in the world, as my friend Michele always says in her proper British accent.
One moment of conscious recognition, a kind word, or even a heartfelt gesture of love toward another human being goes a long way to make a positive difference in their world. Imagine a string of thoughtful communication between people everywhere. Like a huge ball of twine, caring interactions build upon each other, producing loving relationships which roll into communicating families, which in turn, develop into conscious communities which spill over into generous countries which finally create a tolerant world where everyone is connected in full circle by love. Ah, Utopia!
While this thought might seem a little far fetched in our world today, its wisdom isn’t entirely unfounded. Scientifically proven, “like” actions produce similar actions. If you speak kindly to someone, most likely they will be kinder to you and conversely, if you are intolerant toward someone, that puts them on the defensive to retaliate.
Let’s face it, the entire globe is experiencing major upheavals from climate change disasters to fearful attacks against humanity, and even racial, religious, gender, and sexual orientation tolerance issues. That’s enough to make anyone want to hibernate and not wake up until we can finally all “play well with each other in the sand box”.
It’s important however, to move past all those personal pains and slights and see ourselves intertwined in the collective whole of humanity. Yes, life is messy and painful at times, yet it can also be magnificently brilliant. Life is not about running away from the challenge, but asking the challenge what gift does it bring?
With the shifting of one negative thought to an utterance of hope, like the trillions of cells of our bodies, we make a difference in our environment. Just like the cells of our bodies create energy, healing, growth, and power, we promote tolerance, peace, kindness, and love.
What better way to get back on our feet than to help someone else do the same?