Looking Beyond New Year
Yesterday (at the time of writing this) it was new year’s eve- the very last day of 2017. As such, I emailed my online community the following message (that I would now like to share with you, dear reader):
“I know enough of life to know that no year is ever completely perfect. There are always highs and lows; ups and downs…but I wish you more of the ups and highs. I also wish you the strength to go through the lows and downs and take the lessons contained in each. Most of all I pray you remember that, minus circumstance, a year will always be what you make of it. So, make 2018 a good one. Happy new year”
As you can probably now tell, just from reading that excerpt, I don’t believe in the magic of new year! Do I believe it’s a great time for reflection? Yes, and I do so around this time! Do I believe it’s a great opportunity to set some new intentions and goals? Absolutely, I always set New Year’s resolutions! But, when I say that I don’t believe in the magic of new year, I mean that I do not believe in the myths surrounding it such as that, in and of itself, a new year will:
- Wipe the proverbial slate clean, getting rid of all the challenges and issues that people currently face in life
- Mean that no new challenges and issues will pop up, thereby allowing them to have a flawless and “successful” year overall.
I also don’t fall into the category of people who believe that, just because they’ve set a goal or intention for the new year, it will automatically come to pass (regardless of the aforementioned challenges and issues).
Unfortunately, although (like them) I wish it did, I’ve learned that life doesn’t work that way! Life is dichotomous. It can literally be, in the immortal words of Charles Dickens, “the best of times [and] the worst of times” all at the same time. This means that the “ups and highs” are just as much a part of life as the “downs and lows”. It also means that they are just as valuable and, so, cannot be so easily eradicated by the strike of a clock.
If I had to say where the value of the “downs and lows” actually lie, it would be in the fact that they cause us to look beyond them in order to grab hold of the “ups and highs” (or our definition of positivity and success). Therefore, when I think of the phrase “looking beyond,” I associate it with the word “faith” for, as one of my favourite sayings goes:
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen”.
I think that is really important. You see, since new year does not automatically bring about the positive changes that we may desire or get rid of our problems, the ability to look beyond and have faith helps us in the following ways:
#1 It acts as fuel
When those “downs and lows” come (e.g. in the form of illness, financial difficulty, the loss of a loved one, failure, rejection and so on), faith is the fuel that causes us to look beyond such adverse circumstances and dare to hope for better even though it doesn’t yet exist (or is “unseen”).
#2 It acts as a vehicle
Faith is also the vehicle that causes us to move from just hoping for better to taking the actions necessary to make it a reality, thereby looking beyond our current (contrary) circumstances, feelings and more in order to succeed.
#3 It makes us tenacious
Faith is also what gives us the grit to continue to look beyond, hope and press forward with our actions- no matter:
- What it may take
- How long it may take
- What it may require of us.
This tenacity is also what allows us to “learn the lessons contained in each” adversity, as mentioned earlier. In other words, faith is what makes us choose to become better in the face of life’s challenges, rather than bitter. The “downs and lows” are therefore valuable because, as Rumi said, their wounds are “the place where the light enters [us]”.
So… to conclude, dear reader?
No, I do not believe in the magic of new year.
I know enough of life to know that no year is ever completely perfect. There are always highs and lows; ups and downs…but I do wish you more of the ups and highs. I also wish you the strength to go through the lows and downs and take the lessons contained in each. Most of all I pray you remember that, minus circumstance, a year will always be what you make of it. So, make 2018 a good one.
No matter the “downs and lows” that you may encounter this year; no matter what it may take, how long it may take and what it may require of you to overcome them, have the faith to look beyond such adversity. Dare to hope for more but, more than that, be persistent in taking the consistent action necessary to make it a reality. Therein lies the change that you seek in 2018 and therefore your success.
Happy New Year!
About the Author:
Nina Dafe is the founder and editor of the The Far Above Rubies Collection and author of "The Ultimate Guide to Eve". Her mission is to help women understand God's blueprint to womanhood and become the woman He ordained them to be.