The New Year is almost here and with it comes hopes for fresh resolutions and improvements in our ways of being and communicating with those we love. During a conversation with one of my sons a few nights before Christmas, I realized I had fallen back into the old pattern of feeling left out, like the victim I was as a child. I asked him indirectly for my needs to be met. He called me on it, and the air felt electric between us. I didn’t like my reaction, but it was familiar.
The next morning I called a friend and explained how the incident had resurrected memories of feeling excluded as a child. She said in a gentle voice, “Well, I think you might want to consider the fact that you are at choice here. You can choose to revert to the old place of victim, or you can choose a new way of being in relation to what is really his issue.”
This brought me up short. The words chaffed uncomfortably inside of me, but I knew they were spoken from love and that they carried deep wisdom. I thanked her and went for a cross-country ski by myself.
I followed the tracks of the only other skier mixed with those of walkers or snow-shoers. The snow was cold and my skies glided nicely next to the existing tracks. I noticed voices chiding inside me: “You’re making a very crooked line. What will others think when they follow behind you? Quit meandering all over the place. You’ll make it hard for them.”
I stopped in my own tracks, seething with the impertinence of all these chattering voices. I inhaled deeply and blew a full body, audible shudder all the way through my outstretched arms and uplifted head. The pine tree above me quaked. I looked at the other trees nearby, thinking a breeze must have swept through at that very moment. But the others were still. What synchronicity! I blew again, sure that my breath must have reached the branch six feet above me, but it didn’t move. Had the energy of my release really been mirrored in that tree?
A flash of insight hit me like a clump of snow from the branch. I shivered with the realization; if I dare to leave the familiar track of whatever is my habit of mind and heart, I am free to explore infinite possibilities. The familiar is like the narrow track of my skies. The unfamiliar is a mystery. As scary as it seems, it is filled with new ways of moving through life.
I left the old voices behind in my meandering tracks, and glided forward with the swish, swish of fresh tracks in snow.
What familiar habits do you want to leave behind?
May 2014 be fresh with the promise of breaking trail to your truth.