I had such hopes for you this time last year. You felt fresh, new, filled with promise and possibility.
Instead, you sullied the name of all years past and were downright cruel at times. Unrelenting
Among celebrities, you targeted Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, Patty Duke, John Glenn, Harper Lee. And now our Princess, Carrie Fisher.
Let’s not even talk about terrorist attacks, refugees, natural disasters and school shootings.
Then there’s the arena of politics. Not going there. This blog is not about that. Let’s just say it was emotionally and spiritually exhausting. Such hate. Such vitriol. Such divisiveness. Is this what the Divine wants of us? I think not.
My personal life was also fraught with challenges. A fall that injured my teeth and jaw. Sickness and then more. Caring for aging parents.
I’ve heard many people say that you, 2016, ranked among the worst year ever for them. They’ve said outright in social media and in person that you can’t leave soon enough. But here’s what I say.
Thank you. Yes, a big, fat juicy thank you.
As tough and painful as you’ve been, as much as you’ve pummeled us, I see you as a tipping point. You’ve unveiled much to us that we might not have seen had you not revealed your ugliest side.
You have shown us that no matter how dark life can be, it can also be filled with incredible light. Your trials and tribulations have pushed us forward with greater goodness and kindness to others and ourselves.
You may have thought we’d back down from you, not be our best. But guess what? That didn’t happen. We dug deep into our collective soul, banded together — and still are — even more deeply in acts of love and forgiveness.
We formed groups, online and face-to-face, and dedicated ourselves to helping and empowering others. We gave to charities. We volunteered to work with the homeless, in nursing homes and with troubled youth as never before.
We decided to say: Enough!
So, yeah, you were beyond crappy in many ways. But you gave us an invitation to step forward in ways as never before.
In my own personal life there were a few points of light. And surprises. I got to see the Broadway musical Hamilton this past year, thanks to a dear friend. I even was invited backstage to meet the cast and Rosie O’Donnell, who was in the audience.
One of my blog posts about women breaking the glass ceiling was printed in a popular online site and received more than 7,000 hits. Wow.
That’s external. Internally, my life experiences deepened a softness and toughness in me that at times was unbearable. I grew into even more humbling compassion for those hurting in life and found an inner core of strength I never knew I had.
You indeed brought me — and many of us — to a tipping point, 2016, where we were presented with a now-or-never choice. We could throw up our hands in defeat, or instead, say, “We’re going to learn from this. Grow from this.”
I’ve heard people say you can’t leave fast enough, 2016, and it’s true. It is indeed time for you to bid us all adieu because you’ve got 2017 nipping at your heels.
But in this coming new year, we’ll prove to you that despite all you threw at us, we’re going to be the people the Divine meant us to be.
We’ll be more kind. More loving. And yes, chances are good we’ll find more personal and collective suffering in 2017 and although we may not like it, we now know that we can’t go back, that we indeed can choose a different path — a new way of living and being in 2017.
So, here’s a final news flash for you, 2016. You may think you were tough but you gave us the opportunity to take a new road, albeit challenging, that will lead us higher, deeper, wider into love. That’s worth a big thanks.
In the end, dear 2016, you’re not that big a deal. After all, the present moment is what’s most important and what we choose to do with it. Now is all that counts.
Besides, didn’t you know? Love always wins. Always.
With unwavering faith in the goodness of all people, I remain,
Your faithful blogger.