Last year, around this time, I made a Facebook post that simply stated,
“2015 will be hard to beat in lessons learned, friends made, experiences both enjoyed and endured, but I’m excited for all that 2016 holds ahead!”
Turns out, it wasn’t that hard to beat at all.
I love the practice of choosing one word to set the stage or theme for the upcoming new year – a single word of intention to guide one along the course they wish to take, presumably in a better direction.
As I don’t recall actually choosing a word for 2016, I can say with some certainty that the theme is quite clear now that the year has ended.
2016, for me, was a year of Discovery.
I discovered much about myself, about my relationships, and about my faith that I never intended to purposefully find out. These were discoveries not sought after, but welcomed, even the uncomfortable ones.
Moving forward, I would like to honor those discoveries by setting my intention for 2017.
My one word may seem cliché or contrived, as if not much effort was put into its existence, as if I pulled it from the middle of a list of positive intentions thrown carelessly into a “Top Ten” post, but I assure that is the farthest from the truth.
I’ve begun to realize that in my 26 years on this Earth, I have danced with this word and shied always away from it, back and forth, back and forth. I have led myself to believe I am driven by it while always dutifully keeping it at a safe distance. I have longed to provide it and give it away freely while also hoarding it like a small child sits on toys he wants no one else to play with, even though he has no intention of making them useful.
I have judged others in the name of this word. I have, in my mind, denied others the right to feel and to live it. I have allowed others to use this word against me, against others, in some twisted sense of its proper usage. I have seen others yearning for it and ignored my calling to give of it what I can.
That ends this year.
There are other, perhaps more complicated and impressive, words to have chosen. But I feel it is important to begin here.
It is important for all things to begin here.
I want every action, every word, every intention to be guided by this.
As with any resolution to change, I know there will be errors, slip-ups, failures. I will allow room for all of these along with grace and forgiveness. Because progress cannot be made without an occasional mistake.
My word for 2017 is Love.
Courageous love. Defiant love. Unconditional love.
May all things in this new year be guided by that Love that fills my soul through Jesus Christ. The Love that sought me and bought me and renews me daily.
May I be brave enough to give of it freely and generously. To speak from the depths of its unwavering courage in the face of fear and hatred. May it be an unstoppable force within me to act on its behalf.
Have you chosen a word to guide your new year? I’d love to hear what it is and why you chose it!
Happy New Year!!