The last post in my blog each year has been a thank you to the readers and sojourners and usually an introduction to the theme of the coming year. I know the pilgrimage ahead is going to be rocky and in those rocky places transformation will unfold.
I do want to thank you faithful readers who have stayed the course with me this year of promises to tomorrow.
I am wondering and wandering around in my mind’s eye labyrinth, walking past stones I didn’t know were there the first time, passing back over paths with new information and insights I didn’t have last time round. These are hard, dark and difficult days. Opening up to the shadows, the discomfort, the disturbing, requires courage. Intuitively, I reach not to the why, but into the feelings. The same blind, unconditional love I poured out on my husband and continue to shower on those closest to me, I now need to turn to myself. A dear friend encouraged me to make 2018 the Year of Self Compassion. I remember I have Stephanie Dowrick’s Forgiveness and other Acts of Love on my book shelf. I first read it in the late 90s and found it a real salve and intimate guide to living more wholeheartedly and more gratefully, but I haven’t picked it up for years. It is a book I have bought and recommended many times for others after loss, betrayal, a crisis or an accident. I know there is something about courage to be found in the pages and in the summary of the first chapter she writes:
Courage is what it takes to be fully human. It’s what pushes us to survive the daily navigations between the known and not-known; to deal with the inevitable to create useful distinctions between what we can change and what we cannot. It is what will allow us to go into our own particular versions of hell. It is what will give us the grace and strength to re-emerge and still find life worth living. – Stephanie Dowrick
I say to myself: Breathe deep, take courage, walk on pilgrim. Look for the scallop shells on the way, pointing a path forward to the shore.