I have a tradition of using the collective optimism and creative energy of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s resolutions to review all the wonderful things that happened—in the year to come. On December 31stof 2011, I will make a cup of cocoa, crawl under the quilts with my journal, and thank God on paper for a list of Ten Things That Happened in 2012. A year-end review, of sorts, of the year about-to-be. The entire world is in a mood of joyous expectation and manifestation, wishing everyone prosperity, health, safety and love. It’s a perfect time to reach into that magical merriment and create my year. All of us are thinking about new beginnings and starting over. But why step off onto a blank slate?
There’s a fine line between waiting for guidance and drifting aimlessly. I’ve proven more than once in my life that I’m willing to change my entire world at a moment’s Divine Notice, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to make a plan. Since all thoughts manifest—always—I give mine a little electromagnetic, neural-net guidance by mapping out where I want them to take me. Sales directors and financial planners will tell you that eighty percent of what you put on a goal poster comes to fruition. Since we are more visual than verbal, some years I also make that poster, assembling a collage of pictures that represent my wishes for the coming year and hanging it in a frame in my room. Each day when I sit down to meditate, I look forward at all of the things that already happened in the coming year. After all, time is relative.
Whether the world is aware of it or not, forgiveness also plays a part in its New Year’s rebirth. It’s almost impossible to be swept up in optimistic well-wishing and hold a grudge, against either a neighbor or the fates that still haven’t given you the promotion you deserve or a spouse who gets your lifestyle. As a child I used to love the months between Christmas and Valentine’s Day, because my parents would dress to the nines, complete with perfume and sparkly high-heels, and go out dancing on the three holidays during that period. There was a softening and a flush of acceptance and solidarity between the holidays, no arguments, no hard feelings, just love and anticipation. And even as a child I wondered, if we can do this at Christmas, why can’t we maintain it all year long? Why aren’t forgiveness and smoothing the surface habits of every day?
That was my childlike way of creating my future, an everyday where forgiveness is given even before the infraction is committed and the surface is smoothed by the love of that same Oneness and acceptance, magnified and multiplied. It was many New Year’s Eves down the road before I found the Source behind the celebration. “This is the time in which a new year will soon be born from the time of Christ,” says A Course in Miracles. Jesus, the Voice of the Course, says “I have perfect faith in you, to do all that you would accomplish. Nothing will be lacking, and you will make complete and not destroy.” So simply, so beautifully, Jesus guides our focus from the celebration of his birth to the exact peace I cherished as a child, and he tells us precisely how to acquire it, how to give it away, and how to maintain it in ourselves. “Say then, to your brother, I give you to the Holy Spirit as part of myself. I know that you will be released, unless I want to use you to imprison myself. In the name of my freedom I choose your release, because I recognize that we will be released together.” Jesus goes on to promise that because of our forgiveness, “So will the year begin in joy and freedom.”