On the threshold of 2012, a friend and I gathered for a shared meal and some dreaming. We used Susannah Conway’s guide for contemplating the year past and the year ahead. We mulled and talked and wrote about the highlights, the lessons and the gifts of the year that is now behind us. We considered what we had let go of and what we had embraced.
There were some surprises. Of course.
I realized I had let go of a very important relationship. Part of what is important to me is that “letting go” does not require banishment. It does mean that I do not judge him according to my criteria. He does not have to change or make other choices in order for me to accept him and love him. This is quite a shift. I am establishing new boundaries which redefine our relationship, but I now believe the relationship can continue. The painful aspects now feel like birthing pains – much good will come out of it, no matter what. I am so glad for that. I am so, so grateful for the lessons learned.
One of the things I have embraced is my role of “Auntie Dibbie” to nearly 3 yr old Hailey. I did not come into this relationship with any expectations. (I’m thinking there might be something in that!!) I let her show the way, I let her define the terms, and I responded. It is freakin’ fantastic to be somebody’s favourite!! I love it!! (Of course, faced with a choice between me and a popsicle, I know beyond doubt that the popsicle would win!) Still. Her eyes light up and somehow her whole body vibrates when I walk through the door. And you know the reverse is also true. I get great joy from being free to play, play, play with her. I love watching her personality emerge. I love seeing that her timidity in certain situations is part of her makeup, her nature. It is not because she has been damaged in some way – it is who she is. She makes me look at myself with more compassion and understanding: perhaps what I have judged as “faults” are just who I am. Not bad or good. Not broken or defective. If I can love her so totally for who she is, (there can be no judgement attached – it is just not possible), then perhaps I can do the same for myself. More than perhaps. It is one of the gifts of being in this relationship.
As we move into 2012, I share with you a poem by the late Irish poet, John O’Donohue.
For A New Beginning
In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.
[photo from here]