I wrote yesterday about my resolution not to bother with a new year’s resolution. But here’s something I will be bothering with: http://www.oneword365.com. Because of this sheer genius (I love the internet!), I have selected not a random, unachievable goal, or something I should be doing anyway; I have selected one single word by which I will live the next year of my life.
It was a difficult choice. How can one word possibly sum up all that I want to be in the coming year? Competition between words was fierce and there were a lot of top contenders. Sacred: how could I live any sort of life without the knowledge that I live and move and have my being in and through the Creator of the universe? Or what about peace: that ongoing search for the elusive? Light: a year in which I seek always to acknowledge the reality that the darkness in my life never fully overcomes that small bright presence. How about other: stop being such a selfish bitch. Or healing: no one witnessing the mess I became during the beautiful, emotional demands of Christmas singing could deny that healing is something I should desperately be seeking in 2014.
They were all on the shortlist and it was neck-and-neck until the end, but this one pipped them all at the post (am I mixing my racing metaphors, now?). The word I have chosen is: care. The word to guide me through the vicissitudes of 2014 will be care.
I care for others. I value that about myself, although like anyone I get compassion fatigue and there are times when I’m selfish and there are times when I don’t care enough, or when care too much. But I remain overwhelmed by the grace that I’ve been shown on this incredible journey and I want to pay some of it back – or forward, as the case may be. Care for the environment, too, for the world around me: like most of us, I want to tread lightly on our planet, and I could do better, and I could do much worse. It’s something I want to be more mindful of, though.
The real challenge here will be care for my self. Not the boring eating well, exercise, plenty of sleep routine of self-care – although a bit of a wake-up call on that wouldn’t exactly go astray right about now. What I mean, though, is that soul-deep care and nourishment for who I am: treating myself with the same deep and abiding respect with which I view others. Treating myself as worthy of that respect, even in the absence of a guarantee that I’m worth anything at all. And of all the possible new year’s resolutions I could have selected, this one may just be the most difficult.
Living by the value of care ends up encompassing all of those runner-up words anyway. Care involves light, peace, other, healing – as well as the thousand other words that didn’t even make the shortlist. And it certainly involves the idea of sacred – how can I be a creature of the Creator, a small imperfect manifestation of the Divine, and not treat myself well? All things are permeated by the Sacred: surely all beings, therefore are worthy of what care and value I can give them – including me.
That’s the theory, anyway. It’s rather a lot of responsibility for a monosyllable.
Also, tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. I’m blessed enough to be spending the evening with friends, and I don’t plan on being sober enough to drive home. So I’m pretty sure that means I won’t be sober enough to write a blog tomorrow night…