Thoughts for Year’s End


Kaleidoscope, by Berni Steinbach

The gray light of early winter wraps itself around every limb, wave, and structure on South Bass Island on this second to last day of December 2021.  Fog, drizzle, and mushy terrain challenge the soul to keep the inner brightness aflame; still, the hours can present astonishing awakenings.  The news headlines promote anxiety, and life concerns (health, finances, relationships, responsibilities) streak through our days like a mad painter’s brush.  Nonetheless, we can realize encouragement and uplifting moments if we pause and delve into the actual forces which shape our sensibility.

OSU Gibraltar Classcam on 30 December 2021

What is it that forms our complexity?  Whence comes our joy?  How does one fuel the cheer which nurtures confidence, self-esteem, and contentment?  These are questions not readily answered without honest self-assessment.  A measure of happiness must start with basic considerations:  do I have safety? do I have physical and spiritual nourishment?  do I have supportive relationships? do I have fiscal resources? do I have personal integrity?  The extent to which we answer yea or nay is not binary; rather, it lives on a sliding scale akin to a thermometer.  Therein we can discover the entrance points to change, if necessary, or continuation if deemed appropriate!

Critical to our self-assessment is the ability to recognize the sublime items that color our moods.  Music, environment, success, personal interactions, food, and communication rank highly in each day’s passing.  The degree to which we allow each one of these to influence us can determine how satisfactory we feel.

My prayer for all is this:  Hold fast to your sense of self.  Recall the enlivening moments which have fostered well-being. Celebrate the blessings you know.  Move forward into a new year with great expectations!