It’s time to start all over again
Dec 28 2015, 2212 hrs IST
The year is coming to an end. It’s worth taking some time out to reflect over the whole year. Just observe and feel all that has happened to us. A panoramic view. Without judging, without wishing that things had happened.
Think about the bitter experiences. The regrets and tragedies. The joyous and very joyous ones too. The success and glory. Without judgement. With composed mind and calm heart. After the panoramic look, let us treat ourselves and the last year with greater compassion. Then we can surrender ourselves and the past year into the loving hands of God who guides our destiny every moment.
Then let us focus on making this coming year a much gentler, kinder one. This might include letting go of things that are causing us anxiety or worry. Let us start fresh. Let us recall the words of the German mystic Meister Eckhart, “Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” We shall listen to the American talk show host Oprah Winfrey: “I want every day to be a fresh start on expanding what is possible.” Abandoning ourselves to the divine, let us await the new year with hope and joy. While welcoming the new year, it is apt to decide to change ourselves a better, so that we can become more compassionate in the new year.
It is helpful to make about three general and manageable resolutions, which could be broken into short term and long term milestones. Having too many resolutions can backfire. Since our intention behind the resolution is to make ourselves more compassionate and inclusive, it is necessary that we invoke our total self — body, heart and mind — in fulfilling these New Year resolutions.
Then, it is good to look into the human need to look for a better tomorrow with gratitude, joy and hope. Gratitude makes us feel humble and realise our dependence on our fellow-human beings. We recognise their share in sharping our destiny. Joy — in spite of moments of sorrow or tragedy — enables us to feel at home with our own selves and with the larger world around. It is joy in the little things of life that adds colour to our lives. Hope is not running away from the present into an imaginary past.
Celebration of the New Year, with new hope, invites us to ponder on the mystery of time. Time is an essential and mysterious part of it. We do not possess it. We flow into the larger canvas of time, which shapes and makes us. Time lives primarily in the heart. Therefore, it is both healing and energising. “You know what I like about time. Time heals everything. As time passes you don’t feel the hurt as much as you used to. The pain has become so light you forget it was even there. See time heals everything. Give yourself time and you will see happier days,” says Darnell Houston, author and motivational speaker. Since time is a mysterious and complex phenomenon, which we understand only partially, it is good to set milestones. New Year is such a milestone, which we have collectively resolved to celebrate. When we bid farewell to the old with grateful heart, let us open ourselves to surprises and embrace the future with passion and compassion. Let us be born again. “The greatest of all capabilities of a human being is to become born again,” claims JR Rim, author of Write Like None is Reading. Being born again and renewing ourselves makes us fresh and rejuvenated. Then we can truly experience newness, freshness and hope in our old friends, normal routine and day-to-day chores!
(The writer is professor of science and religion and author of The Indian Ending)