Create Positive Change – that’s my theme for 2012. A Facebook meme asked that question – what are your three words for 2012? “Create positive change” — alternately “Create. Positive. Change” (more on that in a moment) came to me immediately.
Temperamentally, I tend towards ‘warrior’ energy. Fighting Irish? Well, that’s likely part of it. My astrological community would cite natal Mars conjunct the Sun and the Midheaven. Yep. Oldest kid in a family with a sick mom – I was “Hector the Protector”.
So my inclination is to fight for what I believe in.
But I’ve noticed that sometimes ‘fighting for change’ (which I believe can be positive) has turned into kvetching – which is another form of powerlessness.
In case I didn’t get that my theme was the correct one for me for this change-laden year, it was presented quite clearly yesterday.
I hadn’t been attending my Unity church for a few months and with a little prompting from my church-friend Jane, I decided to go back on Sunday morning. Pastor Tom Wendt’s sermon included a great visual of this same principle. He had two vases on the lectern. One held 3 lovely long-stemmed yellow roses. The other held 3 rose-stems – with no flowers, lots of thorns and very wilted leaves. He asked us which we’d like to receive as a bouquet. Why, the yellow roses, please! But then he said what he’s seen people do is to put away the lovely yellow roses and spend a lot of time complaining about, critiquing and railing against the wilted/flower-less roses.
Oh. Yeah. I do that.
There’s a bumpersticker I like that says “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” I think that’s true. We live in a transitional time and the order that is passing away is decidedly following Dylan Thomas’s advice – “Do not go gentle into that good night – rage, rage, against the dying of the light.”
Every day I am outraged. And I read a lot – and what I’ve been reading gives me more facts with which to become even more alarmed, upset and angry.
But I’m not so sure those are the facts that are serving me right now.
We live in a culture where Tom’s yellow roses have been yanked away from us – leaving us with the wilted stems. I can bemoan that. Or try to go grab the flowers from the rich guys who stole them.
Or I can tend the garden I have and create beautiful new flowers – so abundant, beautiful and lovely that I’ll end up, down the road, being glad that I didn’t settle for 3 yellow roses when the whole world was there waiting for me to be its gardener.
When I break down my theme for 2012, I like what I see:
Create. I’m WAY happier when I am creating – be it a blog entry, a baby-blanket (and since my family is running wild with babies, I have plenty of opportunities!), a lovely meal, a new friendship. It’s an exponential win when my creativity nourishes others in some way, too. Creativity – yes!
Positive. My farm-girl grandma used to say “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” (I always wondered about catching flies, but then I didn’t live in a drafty old farm house). We’re drawn to positive messages of hope. I really DO understand, at an emotional level, why the right-wing veers away from ‘inconvenient truths’ when the message is delivered as ‘thou shalt not’. I don’t applaud putting one’s head in the sand, but I get how human nature would rather hear good news. So I like celebrating the good news that surrounds us (ala Ode Magazine!)
Change. A common conception is that people don’t like change. I must not be a people, because I DO like change. Not all of it, and certainly I very often resist change not initiated by me – at least at the start. But when things are difficult, the prospect of change is liberating. Hope-giving. Affirming.
A favored quote – one which I like so much that it is on a prominent bumpersticker on my car – is “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” So in 2012, I will create positive change. And I will create. I will be positive. I will change myself, my attitudes, my focus. Yep, I still see that weedy garden. I see the rich guy hogging the flowers he stole from us. But I’m going to focus on growing love, beauty, community, justice and peace.
Wanna join me?