December 2016 Newsletter – Preparing for 2017

My sincere wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!

At this time of year my focus is primarily on being with my loved ones, and embracing this time with love, warmth, laughter, and immense gratitude for great recovery after a serious diagnosis and surgery of an integral family member.

Many of us are also grieving the loss of a loved one and realize the amplified sadness of grief during the holidays. My thoughts and love go out to those who are experiencing such sorrow.

I find the holiday season, and anticipation of what the next year may bring, to be vital time for personal reflection. I have a tradition of journaling on New Year’s Eve. I also write down names of people, things, issues, and memories for which I choose to mentally and emotionally release—sometimes burning these written items as a gesture to best let them go “for good!”

This year I have the pleasure of hosting my grandsons on New Year’s Eve. I think one idea to share this time with them is to make our own vision boards for 2017. This past year has brought to consciousness, of even our youth, the vulgarities, poor conduct and lying of persons trying to attain positions of public office. Never have I witnessed behavior that shamed me to be an American in such a crude election. But, what now?

Many may choose to turn their back, ignoring what changes may come. Some may think all will remain the status quo and will have no impact on them. But, to remain voiceless is not an option. Regardless of how one voted, we still have responsibility as citizens to uphold the law, to speak in defense of those being singled out unfairly for faith, color, gender, or gender preference. Yes. We have the freedom to defend ourselves, and responsibility to defend our constitution. We can’t abide by silently observing the progress by truly patriotic people of our 240 years to be frayed thread by thread until our proud country is left in ruins.

What can I, one person, do to make a difference? I have the responsibility to visualize a country and world in peace. I can choose to be as conscientious and as compassionate a person as I can possibly be. Versus indifference, I can choose to be alert to acts of separateness! I always say we are all 99.9% alike. Yet, if we only focus on that fraction that is different from us, and wrongly believe that tiny difference creates more value in us than that of our brother, then we contribute to the demise, rather than tend to the healing of our communities. We are a country of people, made up of communities, who have supported one another. We do this by knowing each other, not keeping people at a distance and remaining strangers. Richard Rohr expresses that from the core of our being, from a “more spacious and grounded place, one naturally connects, empathizes, forgives, and loves everything.”

My conversations on New Year’s Eve will include how to remain true to our truest and highest self, and morally responsible for our decisions in a country where some people believe that the election results now enables them to act out unlawfully. But here is what I know. These grandsons are smart and responsible. I know their ideas will surpass my own. They need hope to tolerate those who bully. They need encouragement to continue to live moral lives. When kids go wrong is when those they look up to no longer demonstrate responsibility to themselves and others, no longer demonstrate morality, and no longer set examples that our youth should emulate.

It’s time for us to still embrace hope for our future, and to help instill hope for our generations to come.

Wishing you a year of perfect health, many blessings, much laughter, peace in your heart, and promise for our country and our world.