Michael Meade (who hosts a wonderful podcast called Mosaic Voices that talks about soulful mythology in our present day) describes the New Year as a rite of passage; a ritual to end the old year, and celebrate the start of a new period. A time of renewal, of beginnings. A threshold time. A liminal space; 2019 is gone, 2020 is yet to come.
Grief is also a threshold time. Grief plunks you in liminal space - betwixt and between two lives that don’t seem to fit; you live suspended between a past for which you long and a future for which you hope, to quote Gerald Sittser, from his book A Grace Disguised.
Living in liminal space is hard. It’s uncomfortable. It’s unknowable. In a society that has an abundance of drive to DO things, and become "better" (what does that even mean?), existing in a threshold time can feel like you are doing it "wrong."
This is precisely what grief calls us to do - slow down, and pause. Give yourself the time to be in emotional and spiritual intensive care. It’s in this threshold space that you figure out how to live your changed life, and that takes time, it takes living, and it's really, really hard. This is how loss and grief become an integrated part of your whole.
If you’ve been living moment to moment, or hour to hour to get through the early months after a loss, extending your mind into the future (planning a resolution at New Year’s) can be especially daunting and lonesome. Opens up a new abyss of grief and longing for things to be different. And yet, they aren’t.
I remember talking to a dear friend about this - how as time went on, and we started living day to day, then week to week, then month to month, it was harder in different ways. As such, the custom to make a New Year’s resolution can be wrought with anxiety, especially when life has changed so much already. If this resonates with your experience, here are some things to consider:
The Wound of Love by Maya Luna
I gave up
On healing my trauma
I gave up
On practicing the skills
To become whole
Today I gave up
Into that ever elusive
Better version of myself
Today I submitted
To the wound of love
I stopped pointing at it
Looking at it
I stopped this game of separation
I crawled inside the wound
And spread it open
I decided to wear it like a gown
I accepted my total and utter
To be anything else
Blessings to you all.
You're perfect just the way you are... I know it may not feel like it, but know your heart is still shining like the sun.