n. A condition or time of vigor, freshness, and beauty; prime
v. To shine; glow, To grow or flourish with youth and vigor.
My friend Amy Habicht chooses a word at the beginning of each year to define the year for herself. It is not a resolution as much as a marking of embrace of a year to come, taking stock of where she is and where she wants to go. It is a beautiful tradition and one, through her encouragement, I have decided to adopt. Amy’s word for 2014 is “wild” and you can find her post about it here.
After much time and prayer I have chosen the word “bloom”. There are many reasons for this, for the last year I have struggled (in a good way) with a new way of being. It was a year of enlightenment, a year of triumph, but the word that kept coming up all year was free. I was desperate to be free.
The constraints I have placed on myself. No one else did them, I played the expectation and “should” game with myself and played into what I presumed to be others expectations when really they were my own. 2013 was a year of jubilee for me, a releasing of that bondage, a forgiveness of self debt.
It is a great thing to be free. Like a bird who soars through the air or a balloon that has been released. This is how I longed to feel, yet there is also an emptiness in that kind of freedom, something was lacking. So as I prayed about 2014 and I realized that I longed to be rooted, grounded, yet still reaching.
I imagine a flower stretched up toward the light. A lot of work has been done, the root, the stalk, the leaves, and the bud have been formed, but am still holding myself in tightly. It is time to let go, it is time to bloom. It is time to open myself to possibilities I have yet to imagine, to beauty that cannot be contained, to flourish and shine. It is time to see the world, myself, and my God in a way never imagined before this day.
I have an ambitious year planned for myself and this is an ambitious word for me, but it is also exciting. A new year, a new time in life, a new venture. This is an inward journey, a way in which I see myself, that’s the beauty of this kind of spiritual growth. Just like a flower there will be days in my life in which the sun is shining brightly and opening myself will be easy, other days will be dark and rainy and I will want to close in, hold myself a little more gently.
Permission will be granted for both, a bloom of a flower is still fragile, but there are many, many layers of complexity. I will hold myself in grace, I will hold myself gently. Nevertheless excitement abounds.
Happy New Year to you and yours, may we all discover ways to bloom this year.
(Special thanks to Leslie McNeil for the use of her beautiful photo, she is a very talented textile artist and I would encourage you to visit her blog and shop)