The Year of Return is about taking stock of where life is for you right now, the things that you have done, and where you want to go next. It is about acknowledging your own histories, especially the realities and lessons they have brought into your life. If there is anything you have refused to accept or recognize for all this time, then now is a good chance to make peace with everything and everyone, including yourself. It is also a time to forgive, again including yourself.
The Return can take many forms, from the most simple and mundane to the most surprising and spectacular. I have seen it manifested among family and friends -- husbands returning to wives they have left for so many years, families renewing bonds, younger generations finally looking back and recognizing the wisdom of the older. It could be as symbolic as returning to one's roots -- digging through histories and stories to find the seeds that feed who you are and who you have been, who you will be. It could be simple acts of revisiting places, getting in touch with old friends, even opening one's souvenir box and remembering what you used to love and what used to make you happy.
But the Return does not stop at the mere remembrance. It also demands recognition, acceptance, and integration into the Now. For to move forward you have to be whole, and to be whole you have to bring within you both your light and your shadow.
For my part, here is how the Year of Return has shaken my life (there will be separate posts for each so do visit again as the links become activated):
- Rediscovering and Re-embracing my Passions
- Finding my way back to Family and Re-evaluating my Friendships
- Reuniting with my Shadow Self
- Going back to the Simple Life and rediscovering Simple Joys
- Becoming Single again and Re-evaluating my Needs and Priorities
- Strengthening bonds with Mother Earth, return to Basics
With all of these "returns" I feel like I have gone through a major Soul Scrub that peeled away all that is unnecessary and unhelpful for me. While it remains that I want so many things to do and and to have, what changed is the nature of those things that I want to do and to have. They have better foundations now and hopefully also stronger cores that will help me barrel through challenges.
The returns have also helped me lessen my blind spots as I move forward. I will make decisions based on the right reasons and not because of pettiness or a tantrum or even vengefulness. I also choose to be happy, given all the realities of what I have been. where I have been, and the things that I have done. If there will be times when I need to walk through a shadowed path then I aim to be able to do so with grace and patience and optimism. The new year will not always be easy, but I intend to face every single day with hope and faith.
How has 2011 manifested for you?