"What a long time it can take to become the person one has always been." ~ Parker J. Palmer
One aspect of coming to the end of the year creates in me a feeling as if I'm in a holding pattern. As if I'm about to do a count-down to lift-off. I think there's something else going on here than just finishing up the year.
For months, I've become aware of an opening phenomenon in my psyche. Like a budding flower, like something alive that is becoming its most expressive form of itself. Not a feeling of reaching a point and then stopping. But like the wings of a bird, open, then closed. Or, like a flower that, each day anew, re-opens its petals to the sun's rays. Open, then closed.
This is life's never-ending cycle. I think it was Bruce Lee who said we mistakingly believe that we are static beings. We're not. We're always growing, changing, always becoming.
May Sarton's poem goes:
"Now I become myself.
It's taken time, many years and places.
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces..."
There's no ending, that's the point. The journey is cyclical, like the seasons. Some phases we close up like a fan. In others we open wide, throw open the doors of our perception and break out.
When I was on the verge of leaving my ex-husband, I imagined that leaving would be like stepping outside of a dark cave into sunshine. I also felt like I had a metaphorical closet in which I had stored all my gifts. I was so excited to open that closet and peer inside and see the ones I had kept locked up for so long. All those things I had kept on the shelf to play with "later." That "later" time had arrived.
At first I didn't know where to begin, which gifts to play with first. I tentatively tried drawing, then writing a novel. I began knitting again. I reconnected with family and friends. I worked on my body and health.
These were some of the gifts I had withheld from myself and therefore from others for so long. Opening up the closet was not to create a huge splash of expression -- it was rather modest in size. But, to me, it was everything and was my gift to myself for expressing pleasure and gratitude. This was a time to savor.
I'm feeling this same excitement again and not because something is ending, but because something is ready to begin. As this year closes and the new year is about to open, I feel I'm on the verge of a bigger splash. A deeper, more vulnerable, more passionate explosion this time around. I feel it brewing inside me, simply waiting for my own permission.
May 2018 be the year we step out into the sunlight in a grander way. Let it be a bolder, heart-felt and artistically messy way. With spontaneity and verve and lightness. Let us toss off the heavy quilt of doubts and fears and allow whatever comes to come.
Have an amazing year!