Ringing in the New Year

I recently found, in a dusty attic, buried behind remnants of long forgotten sweaters and children’s toys, the massive journals I kept through the echoes of childhood.  The scribbles of a sixteen year old trying to find life in those lines.

I find myself needy for words. Constant, addicted to how words form themselves magically on a page and speak out their own truth. Like smoke rings in a white winter sky. I think, perhaps, I always have had a love affair with words.

Words are easy to hide behind. To bandage. To create a space of beauty and comfort. To hide behind them until we find ourselves, until we find healing.

To say words are powerful are an understatement. The problem is not that they are powerful, but how easily they can smash us into a tiny thousand crystal pieces.  To build us into superman. To make us perceive ourselves as small or to see ourselves as changing the world.

Words are fast.  They move faster than an outbound train. And they cost less than grains of sand. But we invest our very being into words.  We give ourselves reasons for the framework for our lives based on the words we’re given. We strip ourselves down to define ourselves by the fires of other people’s opinions.  Until we destroy ourselves by believing that that’s all we are: the smallest words.

But that’s just it. Words are just words. You’ve been given thousands upon thousands of glittering words in your lifetime. But here’s the deal, and the danger.  You’re not measured by the sum total of the words you’ve been given. And if you define yourself by all the words you receive, you’ll end up becoming defined by a fleeting perception. Working towards a goal which in no way contributes to your greater purpose. And the problem is, often it’s a perception in which that someone who is now defining you wasn’t thinking about you at all.

It’s a new year, and time for new year’s resolutions.  But instead of planning resolutions to change ourselves based on the words of others, let’s try to redefine ourselves based on what we are.  On speaking words to ourselves that are true.  And doing ourselves the favor of the doubt that we are beyond worthy of love. If it’s anything I can emphasize to you today it’s this simple truth. You are, beyond a doubt, worthy of love.  Not in the cliché way that means that we will stay the same, but that we will be changed by our knowledge that’s grounded on an inherent knowledge of the idea that you are precious. Not floundering on the changing of someone’s perception. Not changed by new looks, but changed by the stark confidence of our hearts. Let’s celebrate the gift of words.  Words like bells, that ring clearly, and true.