Pass it on…

Over the past several years I, with many, have participated in the trend of choosing a word for the year.

In reflecting over 2016, looking toward 2017, and approaching the ripe age of 52, I was reminded of a story. Several years ago, I was nearing a “large” birthday and I joked that I was going to be 29 again.

My ever wise husband posed a question, “Ok, then which years are you willing to give up?”

“Hmmm…Wow! I hadn’t thought of it that way.” I answered.

“Are you going to give up the year we met? The year we married? The years our girl’s were born?” he questioned.

The thoughts stopped me in my tracks.

I wasn’t willing to give up any of those moments!

Not ONE of those incredible moments AND, amazingly, not one of the difficult ones as well.

We are nothing more than a sum total of all the experiences of our lives. Without the lows, how could we ever appreciate the highs? And without the highs, how could we cope in the midst of the lows?

My vision for my life was altered when I was diagnosed with a chronic illness in 1999 and then another in 2003. I’ve lived through pain, more pain, hospitalizations, tests, MRIs and near death experiences. Periodically I experienced feelings of sadness, guilt, shame, and failure AND at the same time experienced some truly amazing moments of love, peace, and joy.

My story isn’t special or remarkable but I’ve found freedom from the lies I tell myself that fuel those negative feelings. In sharing my story, I have found strength and a new purpose and perhaps unsurprisingly been able to help others on their journey as well.

The word I am choosing for 2017 is… LIGHT.

For me, it is about stoking the fires, keeping them bright, lighting the way and passing it on.

In 2017, I’m looking forward to sharing what I have learned, illuminating the path for others, and passing the torch.

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

                                                                                     Edith Wharton