Carla woke up on New Years day not feeling like she was going to have a good day. She didn’t want to start the new year out feeling bad because it might be an omen of things to come. What if we treated every day as a new year? Today is just another day on the calendar, in fact, for much of the world, today is just an ordinary day. The Chinese celebrate new year in February. My Persian friends celebrate it in spring. For me, the new year starts in September because I spent so many years in school and that’s when school always started.
Of course we want to look into the future with optimism and the desire for improvement in our lives. Jack Nicholson may have said it best in his movie – As Good As It Gets – what if this is as good as it gets? Can we be happy with what we have? If we aren’t, what are we willing to do to change it so that we have a better life?
The Matrix is my favorite movie. It illustrates the spiritual path beautifully. Neo – the main character is told that he’s “The One” early on. That concept filled him with expectation of what it meant to him to be “The One”. He had to go through utter devastation and breaking of all his expectations before he was able to see what being the “One” really meant. That’s true for all of us. When we begin our spiritual path or any other path we choose, we often have a period of darkness where it doesn’t look like we will get what we want. We have to go through that period so that we can become more clear about what we are really asking for.
When I wanted to become a doctor when I was five, I had my limited knowledge and experience of doctors, which continued to develop as I grew, but I really had no concept of what it meant until I experienced it. We think about how things are in our minds, but until we have the full experience, we don’t really know what that is. I wanted to be a doctor so badly that I was willing to have whatever experience it took for me to get there.
Our understanding of love is also limited by our experience of what love is. The love of our parents is limited by their pain and perceptions of what love is which might lead us to develop a warped idea of what love really is. Who has the ability to teach us what love is really? We go through our life experiences and learn as we grow. Each time we have an opportunity to love, or give to someone else, we grow. We learn the most from our ability to love in the face of adversity and from forgiving what has hurt us in the past.
All the spiritual teachings speak of living in the now. In order to let yourself be in the now, you have to stop hanging on to the past. And….you have to be willing to live your fullest life right here and right now. On a certain level we are all “the One” in that we each have special gifts and opportunities to offer. We each have to find our way through the maze of our existence to see who we are.
Happy new year today, tomorrow, and all the tomorrows after that. May each day of your life be an entire new year of healing and growth.