Last year, my mom flew from Boston down to Chattanooga to spend Christmas with us. This year she came to visit us in our new home in New Bern, NC! And my brother Paul came too! It was absolutely wonderful! Moments like these may never happen again so I relish and cherish them to my very core.
Today begins a new year! I think you'll agree that 2018 was filled with both wondrous and difficult experiences for each of us and the world as a whole. It's important to remember that this is a good thing. A life without contrast is without meaning. Value shapes our lives both visually and philosophically.
I tried to imagine what utter continuity would look like and two images came to mind: a perfectly still lake reflecting a perfectly clear sky and an isolation cell. One is ethereal and the other hopeless. In that example, I'm creating meaning using one of my highest values: freedom.
Using that same value with the same images I could also choose the inverse: the perfection of the lake could feel stifling and a monk's isolation cell could be filled with the spirit of God.
My point is that this year will be the same as every other year. We'll have lots of different experiences. Our values and how we choose to interpret our experiences will determine whether it's happy or not. Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust concentration camp survivor, said it best:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
from Man's Search for Meaning
This is a new year and you get to decide how it will go, who you will be, and if you will be happy. Make it a good one. You've got this! I believe in you.
I'd love for you to connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Between pet portraits, food poisoning, working on the house, and Christmas activities I haven't been on social media very much, but I'll be picking up again soon! When you're surfing the internet, take a look at my painting collections here. And please, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter so you don't miss a thing!