New Year's resolutions make me sweat. I failed fruition too many times. I try instead to look back on the year, see what I did well and what continues to hold me back; and figure out how to increase/decrease respectively in the coming year. Here it is New Year's Eve, again. I think I'll set an intention for what I want in 2011. It's kinda like a resolution but in this case, less goal-oriented and more action-based.
As luck would have it, my wise friend CC sent me an email today thanking me for being significant in her life. She writes, “It wasn’t the best of years for me, but the rough parts confirm that I am part the human broil. Delight in a butterfly resting for an instant upon a delicate spring flower petal, may later abet a thorny broken heart. For that, I can be grateful every morning I awake to another chance.” CC has learned to embrace both the pleasure and pain that defines life. I'm sure she's better at it after the initial blow and better some days than others. The important thing is she's learned to celebrate it as an essential ingredient to her life.
Instead of getting good at appreciating the melancholy, we spend much of our lives trying to avoid the pain. The search for the happy place is linked with our insatiable love of pleasure, sometimes to our own detriment.
I want more of this balance in my life next year. So what I am willing to commit to is increasing my awareness, and when I am present with it, breathe in the pain of tragedy as an essential ingredient that makes for better alchemy, like fish sauce in Thai food.
I responded to CC with, "I do hope things are peaceful in your home and tonight. I wonder who was supposed to prepare us for the dichotomy that is life? A little pleasure, a little pain. I guess it's something you learn to love rather than born with. I still have a ways to go. But you've inspired me to set an intention. Thanks. Love, T."