Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday's Words for January 6, 2010

I’d like to think that each New Year’s Day brings us a fresh delivery of hope and optimism.

I’d especially like to think this is so at the dawn of a new decade. If you want it to be, each New Year can be a fresh beginning for you. Oh yes, we all make and then break some or all of our New Year’s resolutions. We’ve all got miles on us and sometimes we feel as if nothing is ever going to get better. But we don’t have allow that mindset to remain our reality.

Our challenges won’t dissipate suddenly if we take a fresh breath, and decide that this is, indeed, a fresh start and a new beginning. They won’t magically disappear but they will lose some of their power over us. If we will it to be so, then our fresh beginning now at the dawn of this new decade will infuse us with energy, optimism, and hope.

I’ve made myself a set of goals for this coming year; I’ve also taken a few moments to envision where I want to be in five years, and in ten. I may not achieve all I dream of achieving for myself. But at least, in the interim, I will be someone going somewhere.

I don’t waste time thinking how I might change other people. I have no power to change anyone but myself and often, I have found, that desire to change others is misdirected. It is ourselves we need to take in hand.

Some of my goals are material. I freely admit that, because I don’t believe there is anything wrong with a little bit of ambition. I try my best never to begrudge anyone their advancements, good fortune, or success. I want to succeed and improve my station in life, but I want that for everyone.

I have learned the hard way that focusing on the negatives in life—the losses, and the pain—brings nothing good. Instead, I determined years ago, that all the negative or bad things that had ever happened to me, occurred for a higher reason. That even the most devastating tragedy could have a purpose that was to the good. When one is beset by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, to paraphrase The Bard, there is a time for acknowledging the wound. After all, you have to stop the bleeding before you can begin to heal.

But then heal you must, and not only to survive, but to thrive. I believe that we are all here to support each other, in whatever way we can. We’ve all been given gifts, and one of the keys to happiness, I believe, is to recognize this fact, and then discover our own gifts and use them the best way we know how for the benefit of as many people as possible.

You see, when you take your pain and losses and hard times and then use them to help others, be it by word or deed, then you have won against those outrageous slings and arrows.

Winning is the entire point. To triumph in life, to make the days you spend on this earth count for something, there is no better thing you can do than to give back by helping others. We don’t all “give back” in the same way, because our gifts and our talents are individual. And isn’t that wonderful? That means that the contributions we make are as varied and diverse as we all are.

I wish you all a Happy New Year, and I wish you, not challenges to meet your individual strengths, but strength to meet your individual challenges.

Feed the flames of your passion…with a novel by Morgan Ashbury