Happy New Year!
For more years than I can remember, one of my rituals for the New Year has been choosing a word that pinpoints my intention for the months to come. Claiming this word helps me live more honestly in the midst of what was, what is, and what’s not yet.
That’s my word for 2019 – YET. I know every year has its ups and downs. It seems to me, that last year was a challenge for many of us, for many reasons. In the midst of it all, I noticed myself getting stuck believing that since Life wasn’t going as I wanted, it was never going to be better. So, I’m stepping into 2019 with my life-shifting word, YET.
I can’t consistently separate egg yolks from egg whites – yet.
I haven’t sorted through all of the random bits of ‘too important to toss, but I’m not sure why’ stuff – yet.
I haven’t moved back into my Florence-flooded home – yet.
I haven’t been able to return to creating Cheap Therapy – yet.
I haven’t gained complete understanding of my purpose in life – yet.
We, as a human species, haven’t figured out and/or chosen to live as if we’re much more alike than different – yet.
You get the point.
Yet will help me shift my frame of reference, when (not if) I find myself stuck in a way-too-long pity party. I know it’s just a word, but yet is a powerful word. It’s a word that requires hope – the kind of hope Desmond Tutu describes.
Hope is quite different from optimism, which is more superficial indelible to become pessimism when the circumstances change. Hope is something much deeper…I say to people that I’m not an optimist, because that, in a sense is something that depends on feelings more than actual reality. We feel optimistic, or we feel pessimistic. Now, hope is different in that it is based not on the ephemerality of feelings button the firm ground of conviction. I believe with a steadfast faith that there can never be a situation that is utterly, totally hopeless. Hope is deeper, and very, very close to unshakable. It’s in the pit of your tummy. It’s not in your head. It’s all in here.
Despair can come from deep grief, but it can also be a defense against the risks of bitter disappointment and shattering heartbreak. Resignation and cynicism easier, more self-soothing postures that do not require the raw vulnerability and tragic risk of hope. To choose hope is to step firmly forward into the howling wind, baring one’s chest to the elements, knowing that , in time, the storm will pass.
It’s this kind of hope that will fuel my Year of Yet. To encourage this kind of hope, I’m in search of Songs of Hope. And I hope you’ll join me. If you’ll send me a link to your favorite Song of Hope, I’ll share it on Sundays, right here. THANKS for sending your song to firstname.lastname@example.org, with ‘song of hope’ in the subject line.
And hey, while you’re sharing, I hope you’ll share YOUR WORD for 2019 by commenting here. It fills my heart to.the.rim to know and encourage others’ WORD.
In betwixt and between, here’s my first Year of Yet – Song of Hope, thanks to Carrie Newcomer. Here’s The Beautiful Not Yet.