Because it’s my birthday, and I couldn’t think of better words to begin the year ahead. I know this is a keeper because I originally wrote this two years ago today, and continue to think about these words all the time. There’s so much to ponder, and it continues to express what I want in my life, and the lives of those around me.
Not too long ago, my pastor closed the service with a benediction that had me scrambling for a pen so I could take it with me.
It’s my birthday. I tend to indulge annually in a bit of pre-birthday navel-gazing. This year, as I look back on the year before and think about what I want from the year ahead, my thoughts keep coming back to that benediction, from Thomas Merton:
May you be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit. May you live in safety. May you be free from anxiety and worry. May you learn to look at yourself with the eyes of understanding and love. May you be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in yourself. May you know how to nourish the seeds of joy in yourself everyday. May you be able to live fresh, solid, and free. May you be free from aversion, but not indifferent.
These 86 words touch on so much of what I want for the coming year: to be peaceful, happy, and light. To live in safety—and to do what I can to make that possible for others. To be free from anxiety. To look at myself with understanding and love. To nourish seeds of joy in myself, and others. To be free from aversion. To live fresh, solid, and free.
I’m adopting these words as my birthday benediction, for today and for the coming year.
It may be my birthday, but I’m wishing these things for all of you, today and for the coming year. May you, too, be able to live fresh, solid, and free.
***** ***** *****
For a more lighthearted take on birthdays, check out this post from a previous year. I’m still trying to figure out what to add for this year ….