It’s the word that keeps coming up every day as I gently move into a new year. 2013 was a hard, difficult year, and I’m very relieved to let it pass into history. It followed two even more hard and difficult years that were very dark in many ways. I chose the word “illumine” as I entered into 2013. It had deep personal connotations for me, a marker of my faith journey. If there was anything I absolutely knew for sure at the beginning of last year, it was that I desperately needed light to flood into the darkness I found myself wandering in. The idea of illumine suffused my decision making throughout the year, how I worded my prayers, how I formed paths forward- How can I bring light here? Holy Lord, please bring light to my path. Does this decision feel illuminating or oppressive? The corollary, I quickly found, was that to be illumined is to also to learn and absorb. As light shines into a previously dark place, new information arises, new emotions, new things to absorb and hold up for examination. 2013 definitely felt like a year of absorbing so many things- many answers to consider, so very much learning. Learning and healing. There was a moment in 2013 that felt like the darkest place I had ever been, mostly because of my own sinfulness and misguided decisions- and I swore no light could illumine in that moment. And yet it did and continues to. You’ll excuse me if I quote from Harry Potter for a second, won’t you?
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
– Albus Dumbledore
And so it is true. Carry a light into dark places and healing and wholeness may be found.
This year, I feel like it is time to use what I’ve learned over this last year, the lessons of hard-fought battles, and apply them. To nourish my soul, my body, my family, my world. This idea had begun percolating well before the holidays began, and I can already see how it has changed my decision making. It makes decisions pretty clear once I ask if xyz decision will nourish in these ways; It drove how we decorated for the holidays, what food we prepared, how we celebrated. I look forward to seeing how it shifts my perspective in the New Year.
Do you have one little world that you choose for the year? What are your hopes? I’d love to hear in the comments.
Ali Edwards started the concept of One Little Word, and she’s running a workshop this year if you are interested.