2012 has been an incredible year.
This has been a year of many gains, as well as setbacks. Some of us have leapt out of our comfort zones, we have realized who the heck we are and discovered we are be-you-tiful, and several of us have securely fastened our bulletproof vests. Many of us have created worlds, and our own monsters, and have battled them accordingly. We have chased the happy medium, however elusive the chase has been, and have realized that things will not always turn out the way we expect them to. But, there is a true reality when contemplating the year 2012 : everything turned out the way it was meant to.
Now, having said that, the world in 2012 and its events, have not always seemed fair, have they?
Devastating tragedies like in Newtown, Connecticut have occurred. We have wept for strangers. We have seen and read of many other devastating incidents in the world happening on a daily or weekly basis. More personally, we have wept for loved ones who have suffered loss and heartache, much of which we can’t even imagine. We have wept for babies who never got to see the love in their parents’ eyes. We have wept for children and others who have suffered, and may have even been taken from us and from this world. We have witnessed friends and family struggling with issues such as the loss or stress of a job, the deterioration of personal relationships, and even self – destruction due to substance or drug abuse, lack of confidence, and the like.
2012 has also been full of the unknown. The Mayans predicted the world would end. It didn’t (nothing like stating the obvious, I know), but many believed it might. In my opinion, the theory of “the end of the world” should be a wake-up call. We don’t know from one moment to the next how long our world in its entirety, or even in its parts, will stay completely intact. Each second we are given is a blessing. The rug can be ripped out from under us (figuratively and literally) on any given day. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Terror and destruction can erupt without notice. A world filled with light can become very dark.
For many of us, the end of 2012 is a chance for new beginnings. Some of us will set New Year Resolutions to follow a better diet and nutrition plan, to lose weight, to exercise more, to keep in closer contact with family and friends, to get and/or stay organized, to invest and save money, and the list goes on and on. In the past, I have made a New-Year’s-to-do-self-improvement list from year to year — and sometimes I have even been moderately successful at achieving (some of) my resolutions. This year, I personally don’t intend on setting any of these types of resolutions previously listed (not that there is anything wrong with setting them!) In 2013, I intend to let light shine out of the darkness.
Darkness can creep up on us. One minute the world can be shining brightly in all its glorious light, only to be doused in the next moment by grief, sadness, injury, illness, or torment. My friends, here’s a reality : bad things will happen. There is evil, as well as good, in the world. Since original sin entered the world, evil has been around us. Bad things will happen no matter how “good” the person. But, know this : adversity, and even despair, make us stronger people. It may not seem like it at the time, but every experience, good or bad, gives us an opportunity to grow in some way. Light can come out of the darkness. We need the bad days (and even the mediocre ones) to appreciate the good days.
Light can shine through the darkness. I believe that putting energy and resources into mental health and emotional wellness should be a priority in society today. Depression and mental illnesses are destructive. Bad things happen, not just because people have guns, but because there is loneliness, sadness, and emotional turmoil that many in the world are struggling with. It’s not just about making stricter laws and enforcing them – it’s about getting back to the basics of humanity : loving and caring for the well-being of our human race. We need to reach out to others. We need to listen, really listen with our whole heart, when people need someone to hear them. We need to trust our human, compassionate instincts and make ourselves available to someone, to anyone, who needs a friend. We need to look outside of ourselves, to take a peek out of our own little boxes, and realize that everyone’s perspective and perception is different. We need to understand that, (to quote a friend), “Things are rarely as they seem.” We need to judge less and lovingly lead by example.
Shine for others. Be the beacon of light that draws someone’s ship to a safe shore. Be a friend, a role model, a confidante, even a stranger whose smile helped to brighten a rough day. Be a light to someone in the midst of their personal darkness. We are not going to be able to “fix” everything, or everyone, but sometimes just listening, giving a hug or offering some form of human touch and connection, and simply letting someone know that you care, can mean the difference between that person’s continuing to dwell in darkness and their ability to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
As 2012 draws to an end, let’s all make a resolution to let light shine out of darkness. Let’s make eye contact, smile, and say hello. Let’s say a kind word whenever we can. Let’s praise a job well done and look for the positive and the good as often as we are able to. Let’s search for answers, not lay blame. Let’s resolve to build each other up, not tear each other down. Let’s share our faith in a loving God and offer it as a comfort to others. The bad days are inevitable, but let’s anticipate the good ones. Dear friends, may we hold fast to the belief that light will continue to shine out of darkness.
Let your light shine in 2013 and always.
(Dear Readers, Thank you so much for your love and support in 2012. Your reads, likes, shares, and comments are a light that shines for me on the bright and dark days. I appreciate all of you! Shine brightly! Blessings to you in 2013 and always, ~ K ~)