The change you need is in your heart
A Meditation on the New Year
By Hal Borland: Shared by Fr. Jesus Richie Santos
"Time has no divisions to mark its passage;
there is never a thunderstorm or blare of trumpets to announce
the beginning of a new month or year.
Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals
who ring bells and fire off pistols."
- Thomas Mann
As we come closer to the New Year, it might be nice to re-examine just why we make such a big deal about the passage from one day to another. My instinct tells me that it may be because we put a lot of pressure on this new year in our lives--we expect it to bring the changes that we want to see in our lives, to bring us the opportunities that we long to have, to bring us the hope that we might find hard to find.
But the new set of days isn't going to bring any such thing. The new year doesn't bring anything with it--in fact, on the scale of the universe I'm pretty sure that there's not even any such thing as time. After all, our planet rotates on its own pace, in its own directions, all by itself, all the time. And there's no indication at all that our planet measures its journey at all. There's no evidence at all that plants and animals think of the concept of time, much less plan and live their lives by it.
Focusing on the New Year can be fun. New Year's Eve parties can be a lot of fun. New Year's resolutions can be important and helpful to us. But we must keep in mind always that our main focus should always be on right now, this present moment, and how we're living it. If we keep our focus on tomorrow or yesterday, we're sabotaging the present, aren't we? And we're setting ourselves up for the possibility of making mistakes right now that we really don't want to make, rather than keeping our attention in the present so that we can avoid them.
The New Year won't bring you anything. Its coming isn't a cause for celebration. All that can come into your life comes from you and your own perspective on life, your own efforts at work and in relationships, your own acceptance of your life and all that it holds. Enjoy the parties, but don't give too much power to the New Year, for all of the potential that's in that year is in you already, just waiting for you to let it out.
Questions to consider:
Why do we tend to think that a new year can bring us change?
How many people wait for changes to occur from outside of themselves rather than focusing on changing themselves or their own actions?
What true purpose do New Year's celebrations serve?
For further thought:
Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on,
with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.