I love the feeling of a New Year beginning. Just think about it, 365 days – no 2016 is a leap year. We have an extra day, 366 days, 8784 hours. We can begin a new life. What a wonderful opportunity! Regardless of the mistakes or successes that surrounded us last year, this year we begin again. That’s why we make New Year’s resolutions. That’s why we celebrate. Oh yes, sometimes the consequences of last year’s mistakes follow us into the New Year, but we don’t have to repeat those mistakes in 2016. Sometimes, illness and grief follow us into the New Year, but we can change the way we respond. We’re not chained to last year. We have a fresh new start at living. Just the fact that we’re alive is significant.
Instead of resolutions to identify all the things I’d like to do in this New Year, I have chosen three words to live by. I’ve written them on post-it notes. There’s one on my bedroom mirror, one on the bathroom mirror, one on the fridge, one on my front door and one on the dashboard of my car. My hope, my dream for 2016, is that seeing these words every day, will lead me to live them. The words are:
- Gratitude 2. Appreciation 3. Forgiveness
I know these are just words. But over the years, I have learned that the words we think, we see, we use every day gradually become a part of who we are. This year I have consciously chosen to surround myself with the words – gratitude, appreciation, forgiveness. I want them to become, not just a choice for me, as they are now, but rather a reflex response to living. I challenge you to choose your three words of life and do the same.
St. Paul said: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things…put (them) into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)