Four companions to take with you into 2017

Someone recently asked me what I thought about psychics.  After a minute of two of silence, I told them I had reservations.  I didn't know much about psychics so my opinion was largely unformed and uninformed.  My mother brought me up to abhor psychics and mothering like that stays with you. To answer the question I needed to know why I was being asked.  Was my friend interested in knowing the future?  Or were they wanting to cross the divide so to speak and chat with those who had gone before? Well, it set me to thinking.

As humans we long for control and certainty over our present and our future.  We search and spend endless dollars trying to gain control of our days, our health, our lives. Watch your social media feed and take note of how many promotional ads you are targeted with.  There are ads promising quick money, 21 days to a better body, 7 minute workouts, and the ultimate planner to gain control of every minute of your day and life.  At least, that's what is showing up in my feed these days.  Those promises have been  promoted for eons to humans longing for meaning, humans like you and I.

In ancient times, the promises were shouted in the market square.  Within the last few hundred years the same things were sold from the back of wagons by a huckster who left town quickly.  Now the promises are greeting you multiple times a day in your social media feed, on the TV, in magazines, and on billboards.  Ignore them, and dial in to something far more lasting and comforting.

We all need comfort especially if our year has brought surprises we didn't want.  Some of us had our life calendars rewritten in the space of a few minutes with events we didn't expect.  Suddenly the silly planner didn't matter because the plans blew up. In last year's January 2nd post I wrote about developing resiliency to cope with bad surprises.  On January 9th, I wrote about exercising our bravery muscles and the need to cultivate an ability to embrace good surprises joyfully.  Our family has experienced it all this year, the good, the bad, and the beastly.

We needed resilience, we strove for bravery, and we embraced joyfully.  Next year we will need another dose of those abilities.  However, we also have something stronger than ourselves to rely on.  We have a deeply held belief that we are in the hands of a loving and faithful God.  Whatever you choose to call that Being, matters not an oat to me. Just know without any doubt that although you may have days where you feel like your calendar and life have blown apart, there is Someone or Something greater who holds you close to their heart.

When Doug's Next Page crashed into the serenity of our lives, I was a little spooked.  That psychic thing came around and grabbed me by the ankles. Merriam Webster defines psychic as "lying outside the sphere of physical science or knowledge" and "spiritual in origin or force".  In the weeks immediately preceding the diagnosis I had read three books; When Breath Becomes Air, The Blue Zones Solution, and A Grief Observed.   A friend had dropped off one book.  I bought the second on a whim in a checkout line.  The third was ordered deliberately online.  They all seemed so random.  There was no common thread.  Yet the moment that diagnosis reached my ears, all three books suddenly became part of a gift that had prepared and equipped me just a tiny bit.

They were not random choices, they were preparatory choices, and that was the spooky part. The first was a thoughtful memoir of neurosurgeon with cancer; how better to develop a sliver of understanding of the anger and grief we were walking into.  The Blue Zone book became more interesting as we learned the linkages between diet and disease.  A Grief Observed?  Well, there it was in black and white.  You couldn't experience the joy of knowing and loving anyone without the possibility of grief. A life worth living was inevitably a mixture of both.

There they sat, an unlikely trio on the coffee table, along with The Narcissist Next Door.  The Narcissist part made me laugh, it had been an intentional effort to understand someone in my past so I knew exactly why I had that book. Although poor Greg, suffered silently for a week or two before he got the courage to ask if I was reading The Narcissist to understand him.  You see there was a subtitle referring to the narcissist in your bedroom!  After reassuring him, I returned to my thoughts about the psychic, those things that are spiritual in origin or force.

I guess my answer to the psychic question is, yes I believe in things that are spiritual in origin or force.  However, I have no need or desire to consult with psychics because I, like you, have a direct line to the Creator and all we have to do is lift our eyelids and open our hearts to the possibilities. If reassurance and certainty are what you crave, lift your eyelids and open your heart.  2017 is on your doorstep and in the hands of the Creator. Be brave, be resilient, be comforted, be certain.