How do you see yourself right now? Who do you want to be at this time next year?
Some heavy questions for this busy time of year. In fact, I haven’t really had the solitude lately to really do some hard core self-examination as the year comes to a close. The kids have been taking turns being sick and our last three weekends have been full. Frankly, I am afraid to look too deep right now without any sun to help brighten the day after some introspective, cleaning out the cobwebs type work.
But I will try to answer these questions right now after a few minutes of solitude I have been able to grab tonight.
There is one thing that I have to remember when I engage in such deliberate self-examination. I have only learned it this year.
I must do it with kindness.
It is so easy to highlight my shortcomings and insecurities. I can rhyme off many ways in which I disappointed myself and those closest to me. I can see my fears up close and personal. The darkness and shadow can be a cozy hiding place until you forget how to let in the light again.
I see myself entering a different rhythm. For the last 6 months, I was busy re-writing the story I told myself. I challenged my own expectations and assumptions. I forgave myself and let go of past resentments. I had faith and I let it guide me. I have been willing to see.
As we approach the end of the year and the beginning of winter, I feel the familiar longing to retreat and hibernate. I feel full. It’s time to rest and let all the “doing” settle. I am willing to be.
My son’s advent calendar prompt today was “What do you wish for yourself for 2016?” and he said, “To grow up.”
(Cue heart breaking.)
He’s the smallest member of our family right now and he desperately wants to grow taller than his sisters or at least catch up to them. So that is what he wants for himself for the upcoming year. To grow up.
I want the same thing for myself for next year: to grow. But even more basic than that, I want to continue to want to grow. I want to keep moving and questioning and learning.
But for the next few weeks, I won’t. I will be ok with staying still and soaking in all the moments that have made up this past year. I will be ready to see with kindness. I will have conversations with both sides of myself. They will meet in the middle and greet each other as old friends with the softest of hearts.