Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Day

‘Tis the season for making Top Ten lists. How about The Top Ten Stories of YOUR Life for 2015? You don't think you have 10 stories? Here are ten questions you might ask to help frame your own list.

1) The happiest story of my life in 2015… What brought me he greatest deep-down-inside joy? Serenity? Peace? How did I share that with others? What might I do to keep this happy story alive in my heart and mind?

2) The most spiritual story of my life in the past year…When was I most aware of God, of my Higher Power? of my spiritual self? What was my deepest moment of prayer? How did this touch my soul? What are my spiritual goals for the new year?

3) The most selfless story of my life in 2015... How did I sacrifice for others? What did I give up or let go of? What did I receive in how I gave? What opportunities will I have to be more generous in 2016?

4) The top story of my making peace in the past year…What grudges did I let go? What resentments did I sweep from my heart? Whom did I forgive? Whose forgiveness did I accept? What hard feelings do I carry into the new year and how will I work at letting them go? With whom do I need to reconcile in the coming year??

5) The most selfish story of my life in 2015… Did I prosper at another’s expense? Did I put my own needs ahead of those around me, those who depend on me? How might I be less selfish and more generous in 2016? How do I need to change to be more generous?

6) My saddest story from last year… What left me feeling wounded, empty, lost? Who helped me through that? What did I lose in my sadness - and what did I find? Have I healed from the sadness or do I cling to it? Did I bring my sadness to prayer and ask for healing? How might I open my heart wider to joy in 2016?

7) The most beautiful story of my life in 2015… Watching a child grow? A wedding? A friendship? A touch, an embrace, a new found love? How was I grateful for such beauty and how might I more freely open myself to beauty in the year ahead?

8) The most unfinished story in my life from the past year… What kept me from completing something I wanted and needed to finish? What loose ends do I need to tie up? What still needs to be done and when, how will I attend to it? What peace awaits me at this unfinished story’s end? Where will this story take me in 2015?

9) The top story of change in my life in 2014… What changed in my life? How did I change? How did I adapt to it? What difference has it made in my life? in my understanding of others’ troubles? How did I learn to live with this change? How will new changes help shape the new year ahead?

10) The best stories of new people I met in the year just ending… Did my first impressions of others sometimes change in surprising ways? How is my life richer for knowing these new people? How was I welcomed into others’ lives? How have I enriched their lives? Who might I reach out to and befriend in 2016?

While my “Top Ten” list and yours won't make the Late Show or be published in magazines or online, calling to mind and reflecting on these stories might be good exercise for each of us at a new year’s beginning.

We all have a fresh start ahead and new stories to add to our personal histories. I pray that your story will be filled with faith, hope and love for you and all whose paths will cross yours in 2015.

Happy New Year!