It’s a new year by our calendar. It’s a new year by the sun and the stars and the moon. It’s a time when so many of us make plans to change who we are, how we are in the world, how we are living in our bodies. We make resolutions to change our wretched, lazy lack of discipline in some area of our life and to start anew with new discipline and commitment and focus.
What if, rather than looking at ourselves and deciding that we are broken or undisciplined or unworthy we decided to know deeply that we are each and all held in a deep and powerful love that we cannot earn and that we cannot ever come to the end of. This is what my faith tells me is true about myself and my neighbor. We Unitarian Universalists affirm that each and all of us is born with worth and dignity and that we are part of a vast web of interconnection with all of life.
How might we plan differently if we started from that place? What if we asked ourselves how we are living out our deepest values in the world? in our lives? in our families and relationships? with our neighbors. What if we committed ourselves to deepen connections, to be better at choosing to act from our deepest values, to take better care of ourselves because we are made in the image of love? Can we build some habits and resolutions around those choices? Practices that remind us who we are and how we are connected and held in relationship and in faith.
Because we need these practices in our lives when trouble and mess and anxiety come—as they always will—in small doses or overwhelmingly huge doses—one of the things that can get us through, that can provide us perspective, that can remind us of our humanity and our hope, that can recall us to seeing the beautiful and wonderful in life are those hobbies and habits that we have built and nurtured and crafted for ourselves, those practices that ground us and give us space to be fully human in the face of all of life’s wonders and dangers and which allow us to reach out to each other in community and work for justice in the world.
So rather than plan to fix yourself this January, how can you build practices that make it possible for you to remember the values at the core of your life, to greet your neighbor as your kin, and share in blessing our common life with beauty and love and commitment?