Friday, January 1, 2010

A New Heart for A New Year

Today, on this first day of a New Year and a new decade, I find myself craving life.

Savoring life. Savoring the simple, profound sweetness of life.

I’m bringing a very grateful heart into this new decade. Gratitude that I am still alive and able to see the beauty of each new day.

I am very grateful to find that my heart is still able to be brave enough to love and that I am becoming courageous enough to find joy even in the face of life’s toughest challenges.

Some people live their lives as cynics, always seeing or talking about or writing about the worst in other people and in life.

I often wonder if cynics have ever really experienced loss or difficulties. It’s hard for me to believe they could continue to be so cynical and bitter if they have ever learned the hard way how precious life really is.

I have survived far too much in my still relatively young life to be cynical or bitter.

I have survived several experiences when others said there is no reason I should still be alive to tell my tale. I have endured and survived losses of people so dear to me that I often wondered how it would be possible for my heart to recover.

But somehow, I’m beginning to think that’s part of why I’ve survived what I have. To tell my tale. To offer compassion and understanding. To offer hope.

For despite all odds, I still believe with all my heart in the power of love. Real love.

I still believe in the power of hope. I believe you have to decide at some point in your heart and life that you will never, ever, ever give up ~ no matter what.

For the fact that I have survived to see this first day of a New Year and a new decade, still able to believe in love and hope, is a miracle in itself. Yet I do. With all my heart.

We are all shaped and become the people we are now by the joys and sorrows we experience throughout our lives and by the people we love and the people who love us.

It’s so much easier to recount the joys and remember the good times, especially the very best times. Those times are a wonderful and amazing part of life.

On the flip side, I’m slowly learning to leave regrets in the past so that I can make even more room for all the good things I believe the future holds for my life and for my heart.

Still, while we cannot dwell on regrets or failures, we have to admit the low points in our lives also are part of who we are now.

We can choose to not be defined by the tragedies and difficult experiences. But sometimes those really are compellingly defining moments in our lives, when we become stronger as we choose to face our challenges, work through them and go on to embrace life.

I have learned in my own life that when tragedy and loss shatter your heart and your life into a billion pieces, it sometimes feels like your heart will never mend. It feels like your heart and life will somehow never be the same.

Some of that is true. In my case, I will never, ever be the same girl I was before some of the things that happened in my life. Each one changed my life in its own way.

And I know my heart will never be exactly the same. The shattered pieces don’t always fit back together the same way.

But I’m beginning to think maybe that in itself is a good thing.

Sometimes life’s greatest sorrows and heartaches and losses cause a heart to regrow into a new heart, if you will. If you let it.

A new heart that’s a bit larger and able to include more people. A new heart that’s a lot more tender. A lot more sensitive. Hopefully, a lot more caring. And yes, along with all that, a heart that’s sometimes a lot more raw. A lot more real.

I’ve come to believe that’s when a heart learns more about what it means to truly love.

So this New Year’s Day, a day that always feels like a new beginning, I face a New Year and a new decade with a new heart.

A heart that knows in new ways the enduring, life-giving value of true friendships.

A heart that values more and more people who are truly kind. I have been blessed to meet a few. I love being near them. They make my heart feel safe. And very happy.

A heart that still ~against odds that sometimes appear on the surface to be insurmountable~ insists on dreaming big dreams and working toward making them happen.

A heart that understands in a much deeper way the power of grace.

A heart that still stubbornly and passionately craves life and holds on unwaveringly to an undying hope.

A heart that is learning more every day about what it really means to love. I hope.

A heart that is learning how breathtakingly amazing it is to be completely and intensely loved with a love that is real and true.

And because of all that and so much more, I face this New Year with a very, very grateful heart.

A New Year. A new decade. New possibilities. New dreams.

Looking up. Looking forward.

I hope you are, too. Happy New Year!!!

***God bless you all in this New Year. May your hearts know much, much love ~or as my Grandma who was born on New Year’s Day would say, “mucho mucho love.” May your homes be filled with more laughter than tears. May your joys outnumber your sorrows. May you follow your passions with courage and hope. May you always choose kindness. May your heart overflow with so much love that you have more than enough. May you have so much love in your heart and life that you have plenty for yourself and an abundance to give to others. May you always, always, always hold onto hope.
~Luv ya mucho mucho, J.~


Jane said...

Thank you Janet. You inspire me!

Paula Bender said...

That's so inspiring, Janet! Have a great New Year and decade! We have so much to be grateful for, and so much to anticipate!

Cynthia Occelli said...

Hi Janet,

I so enjoyed reading your post. It left me with questions. Are you writing your story? What tragic, but amazing experiences opened you so? Tell me, tell me, tell me (well if you want to :)

A side note: you have a beautiful smile.

Keep blogging, I'll be reading.