A glorious day- sunny, cold, beautiful. Guari and I are here enjoying the fire, enjoying this first day of the New Year. I’m grateful that I didn’t wake up with a hangover—from alcohol, excess food, or emotional or relationship distress. I am at peace. It is well with my soul.
It hasn’t always been like this, and I don’t take it for granted. I’ve hit many “bottoms” in my life, usually because I talk myself into thinking that I’m on the right path, then I run into a dead end. Fortunately, I know where to find help. I have friends who lovingly help to orient me, stand me up on my feet, remind me who I am, and point me in the direction of healing and wholeness. Ultimately that means letting go of behaviors and patterns that interfere with my well-being or with the well-being of others. This I have never been able to do on my own strength alone.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because the ongoing transformation that I seek doesn’t always happen the way I think it should, and it’s not the result of me trying to establish control. I’ve never been able to just whip myself (or others) into shape. Oh, I’ve given it a good try—that used to be my solution to life’s problems—but now I have a humbler and more realistic view of my powers. I know now that only by listening and waiting for the movement of the Spirit will I find the inner resources to enable me to change old patterns and to be deeply transformed.
I can also set my intention and pray for the willingness and the power to be able to live into the fullness of who I am and who I am called to be. This works best for me if I renew my intention one day at a time. This coming year I intend to enjoy my family and friends, and do what I can to make this world a more loving place. I have lots of projects waiting. But I have to take time to “watch and pray” so that I’m not thrown back into old, self-defeating patterns.
I’m so grateful to have shared a path of recovery with my mother, Ruth, for many years before her death. I set my intention today by starting this day and this year with one of her favorite prayers, which I have shared in a previous post, Thoughts that Bless:
“Morning Prayer” by Ella Syfers Schenck:
Lord, in the quiet of this morning hour
I come to Thee for peace, for wisdom, power
To view the world today through love-filled eyes;
Be patient, understanding, gentle, wise:
To see beyond what seems to be, and know
Thy children as Thou knowest them; and so
Naught but the good in anyone behold;
Make deaf my ears to slander that is told;
Silence my tongue to aught that is unkind;
Let only thoughts that bless dwell in my mind.
Let me so kindly be, so full of cheer,
That all I meet may feel Thy presence near.
O clothe me in Thy beauty, this I pray,
Let me reveal Thee, Lord, through all the day.
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