The sky this new year has been the pure, clear blue that comes when arctic air rushes down from the North Pole and sweeps it clean. It appears overhead like a bright fresh page that could hold any great vision, every resolution and best intention. But once imagined up above the fray of our everyday world, how do we bring these visions and ideals down to earth, and make them real amid the chaos and mess of regular life?
I greatly admire people who have a vision of what they want, focus on it like a bulldog, and make it happen. They lose the weight, stick with the recovery program, give up cigarettes, read 52 books for self-improvement and sheer enjoyment even before the year is over. Like everyone else, I sometimes have lofty visions, but the only way I've ever had any success achieving them has been to do something different once, and then again, and then over and over again, choice by choice until I've developed a new habit. I don't have the willpower of Lola, my neighbor's French bulldog. I don't even want it. I'm strong, but there's something inflexible about unwavering will power that puts severe limitations on other parts of my life…the emotional and spiritual parts that absolutely need to be open and flexible in order to thrive. Still, I could develop better habits that would make my life much healthier and happier. And so I work on it, choice by choice.
What I realize is that the only times I've truly succeeded at fundamental change have been the times I've somehow given up what's not mine to hold, or push, or pursue, so that love could open up a way. When I follow that path, then my intentional choices succeed. Why and how this happens is a mystery to me. There seems to be some connection between big, unconditional love, and being open to a really big vision that's partly mine, and partly bigger than myself that leads to success. I don't know if this might work within groups. I only know that love opens a way for transformative change, and I get to be part of it after I get on this path and make choices in accord with my values and principles.
This month we'll be exploring "Intention" on Sunday mornings and in many of our small groups (see Monthly Theme for January 2018). It would be wonderful if your thoughts, questions and insights were part of this exploration. As in all collective, collaborative efforts,
your contribution could help bring our lofty visions
down to earth.
A Happy and Healthy 2018 to All!