Years ago I heard a prayer at a Twelve Step meeting that really grabbed my heart. Over the years, it has rattled around inside of me, emerging and getting louder at different times, quieting down at others—it has never really left me. This holiday season has really loosened it up and increased its volume. The prayer says:
- Thank you for everything you have given me.
- Thank you for everything you have taken from me.
- Thank you for everything that’s left.
I have been given so much in this past year, this ancient year of 2015—a home, a family, work that touches hearts, a new writing project alive with possibility, the cutest dog in the contiguous United States —so many blessings. And, most importantly, I have been given the ongoing blessing of knowing myself more intimately, more soberly, more mindfully and more deeply.
Yet at the same time, this past year also was one of profound and deep loss: the senseless death of a dear, healthy and younger friend, the loss of a precious, valued program that I taught for many years, and the loss of illusion that the good wins out always. Good does not always win—pillars of integrity have been loosened around me and my heart is broken. And that’s the truth of it—in the midst of so many blessings, there has been such heartbreak. What a revelation, that both and all, the blessings and the challenges, can exist at the same time!
And what is left? For what am I grateful tonight, this first day of the New Year, this year that seemed to slide in on a whisper? As winter cautiously inches her way toward us, as the holidays blessedly fade, as the light slowly returns to us, for what am I grateful? What is left?
I am grateful for what lives inside of me. I have, deep in me, a faith that works, a faith that tells me that, no matter what, I will find my way forward—no matter what, I will be guided. I have, deep inside of me, a commitment to living in relationship with that which is not my mind—call it Grace, call it Intuition, call it Higher Power, call it Nothing. I believe there is something else happening here beside my mere (and sometimes mighty) will. I am grateful, oh, so grateful for this partnership—my humanity and my divinity—together, I will find my way forward, one step, one day, one challenge, one heart-squeeze at a time, no matter what I am given.
I somehow sense that, as 2016 snakes her way toward me, alive with challenges and changes and shifts, that I will draw upon this internal faith. I will find my way. Of this, I am certain. And for this, I am forever-grateful.
And what about you, dear friends? What have you been given in this past year? What has been taken from you? And what is left? Take a few breaths, take a few moments. Consider. Relax and breathe and notice. Welcome yourself into your new year.