At the beginning of this year, this new decade, during a ritual attended by my art group, I chose a word that I decided to embrace as the beacon for my journey through this year. The word is PASSION.
If I were to look back over last year and try to describe it with one word, the word might be WORRY or CARETAKER or FEAR. In the spirit of moving onward and upward, this year’s word focuses in a more positive way on where I want to go rather than on what everyone else is doing around me. Don’t misunderstand me here. I am still a mother to a teenage boy and need to be a role model and support for him when he needs me. I still want to be aware of the people around me that I love and be there for them like they were there for me.
However, this year my goal was to spend my spiritual energy on me and where I want to be and what I want to do.
It’s hard to write that sentence. It goes against the way that I was raised as a good girl; take care of others and to put yourself second. That is the way that I have been living for most of my 50+ years. But, I believe that I am not an old dog and that I am quite (thank you very much) capable of learning new tricks.
So – PASSION.
Focusing my energy on myself and what I want to do requires knowing what I want to do and knowing what I love. The things that I have always loved seem to be tainted somehow with the influence of their context. Do I love to cook because I am a mom and I love to take care of my child that way? Do I love to make things because it gave me a reason to be by myself in the studio and focus on something other than family? Does it even matter?
It felt like I had to start from scratch. It felt like I had to find my passion with new eyes – the eyes of the child me – the person who I was before I became the caretaker, the mom, the wife. And yet, that person no longer exists. I am an amalgam of all the things that I have been practicing during my life. My passion exists because of this practice and to toss it out now and start over would be folly.
Instead, I decided to look at it with renewed eyes, the eyes of the person that I had become. I resolved to take the time to explore my passion; reevaluate it; discover it in its new context. I decided to be open to new ideas and new passions. I yearned to take the moment, breathe and discover what it is that I love.
With the changes that these last short six months have wrought, the idea of PASSION is once again dancing in front of me and demanding my attention. I will be living alone; I will be making daily decisions based on no one else’s needs but my own. I can decide what will drive those decisions. Looking back at the new year’s ceremony, I see what hopes I had for myself. I see that circumstances change and yet the guiding light that I lit in January still shines and there is no need to reinvent myself. I was always there. I just need to remember to listen.