bonne année

New Year’s has always been emotional.

I remember watching the ball drop on television on New Year’s Eve 1989, and thinking, “Good-bye, 80s…..whatever that means.”  In the last moments of the year, the experiences of the year are still too close to understand what it means to bid the year farewell.  With the exception of a night of cocktails or network specials televised from some cold street far away, it is just another end to another day.

Except the world tells us it should be so much more.

Which makes me fearful.

I become afraid.

Will I slowly watch my life pass by, year by year, without ever really achieving all that I should or can?  Will I sit here, New Year’s to New Year’s, letting the world live lives better, more exciting, more accomplished, more fulfilled than my own?

Or, will I succumb to the pressure and find myself, once again, standing on a crowded sidewalk somewhere, freezing and cringing between strangers’ bodies, hoping this is going to make me happier in some earthly way?

And resolutions.  Oh, the resolutions.  The silent pressure of Day One-One, whispering in your ear, “This year will be different, but only if you promise.”

It’s fear talking.

That’s fear telling you that you need to change.  That your life isn’t good enough already.  Fear hisses in your ears, “You need to be better…now.”

But is this true?

Aren’t we all perfect just as we are?  And if so, perhaps the promises we should be making are to see this perfection in our souls every day.  We should promise to sing loudly over the whispers and screams of fear.  Sing a song of love.  Find the beauty and take a wild swim in it, letting it wet our eyes and fill our ears.  Taste its salt on our tongues.

So today, on this frightening Day One-One, I will take my fears in my embrace and kiss them.

I kiss the fear of living a life unfulfilled.  I kiss my fear of failure.  I kiss my fear of financial misfortune.  I kiss my fears of fading youth, insufficient beauty, failing health, lonely days and nights, and heartache.  I kiss my fears of losing loved ones, fast growing babies, and pain.  I kiss this nagging fear of empty words and rejected works.  I kiss my fear of judgment and disdain.

I kiss these fears and smother them in love, because love speaks louder than fear.  Always.

And tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, on the far less frightening days of the new year, I will remind myself of this promise of love.

May it be so with you, too.

à la prochaine et bonne année