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The Task For The New Year

Jan 10, 2008
Most people have hope within their hearts on the eve of a new year, and plans and dreams that they vow to bring into fulfillment. With or without New Year's Resolutions, we are tuned to the future and to having the hope that the new year be even better than the last - that it fulfill whatever has lacked fulfillment for us, and that it extend whatever has been worthwhile and precious to us.

However, even while we celebrate, our hearts need to hold those who do not have hope at this beginning of the new, not with a sense of depression, but with a sense of wanting to participate in the life of the world. If we do not enter the new year with a prayer for those who are homeless, hungry, in grief, or in any one of a number of circumstances that have involved profound loss during the past year, we will only be living with a part of ourselves. We will only be living with a part of our hearts.

For the part of ourselves that relates to our personal destiny and our personal circumstances is but one part of a greater whole. This smaller part is central, as are our relationships with children, parents, beloved friends or partners. But what is central does not necessarily exclude other things that may also be central, for the human heart is a large room, and in it, many forms of caring can dwell. We can simultaneously experience joy for what is and for what we have received, and sorrow for what is not, and for what the world has not yet received.

In this time of crisis and trial in so many places in the world, including in the United States of America, people are suffering with the loss of hope, based on both inner and outer circumstances that seem intractable, with no way of improving them. This, despite the efforts of social programs, in some instances, to make a difference in relation to certain specific social issues, and despite the efforts of those who volunteer their time and support. Despite these things, more is needed in the way of awakening consciousness, and to the extent that we participate as spiritual beings in the life of humanity, the more must come from our hearts as we seek to uplift those who are without hope at this time.

Some may feel that this is a call to social action, or to the outward expression of caring, but it is not, though it may, for some, lead in that direction. What it is, is a call to the heart that chooses to not separate from the rest of humanity - that chooses to care with those who are alone or hopeless at this time. Such a heart has already moved in the direction of becoming a planetary citizen and has expanded its identity from the personal to the global. Such a heart has already made more space within itself to love more.

For this is the essential task of the new year - to grow, to enjoy the gifts that life has brought to us, to not take things for granted, but above all, to love more. May the coming year bring the blessings of our collective love to those who are without hope at this time, and may we not fear our knowledge of their plight, but rather embrace it within the larger Heart that beats within our own.
About the Author
Julie Redstone is a teacher, writer, and founder of Light Omega, a center for spiritual teaching and healing in Western Massachusetts. The purpose of Light Omega is to create an understanding of the sacred transition into light that the earth is presently going through and the changes this will bring to individual and planetary consciousness.
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