My Year-End Reflection

'Tis the season to... reflect. At least that's what I always feel most inclined to do at this time of year, much moreso than exchanging impractical presents and over-eating, all in the name of "traditions" which require that we behave in certain rote ways without reflecting on why we're doing it.
I'm not against acknowledging certain dates on a calendar, though. Since we do live under the construct of a linear time continuum, holidays and anniversaries can serve as moments "in time" to look over the period just ending to try and understand what motivated us to live how and where and with whom the way we did ("What did you do and how did it feel?" is the only question I think God actually ever asks anyone at the end of a lifetime.). I find a good year-in-review process at once gratifying and disheartening. Gratifying to see the ways in which I may have evolved in the past year, and to take note of the non-material gifts I have given to others, given of myself, in other words, to the degree to which I was able to be myself genuinely with those others. Disheartening to face the ways in which I was disingenuous at times.
One thing I've stopped saying is: "This year was a year of transition." Ha! Why? Because in looking back, I've been saying that exact same thing about almost every preceeding year for most of my adult life. Perhaps, I'm finally accepting that this is a transitional lifetime for me, though if the present moment is all there is, and all time is simultaneous, then what I am transitioning from and to is up for grabs.
Reflecting on the outer world situation, I had an insight recently, expressed somewhat in my recent essay, "Ain't That America." [] The insight was simply this - that as bad as things seem today, in terms of corruption and greed and dishonesty and brutality in so many areas of our various societies, it has been no better or worse for any long stretch of history that we are aware of going back at least a few thousand years. Which again speaks to the simultaneity of time. Clearly, we are exploring and experimenting with the dark side of the human experience, from Ancient Rome, the European Dark ages and the American continent's use of genocide and slavery to establish its sovereignty, to today's exploitation and despoiling of our world and children under the tyranny of corporate and religious fascism.
Sounds grim, but yet this thought did not leave me at all in despair. Quite the contrary, it focused me on the two things that really matter most: self-knowledge and love. When you examine any extensive text of spiritual teachings that stand up without dogma, the only two things that ever really seem to "interest" God are finding more and more creative expressions of love, and deeper and deeper explorations of God's "I Am-ness." So, too, for human beings, each of us as part of that greater I AM, when we are mostly about love's expression and knowing ourselves, we are in harmony.
So, in looking back at the calendar year of 2007, a year that held more than a few bits of turmoil for myself and many people in my sphere, I am ultimately gratified, as in full of gratitude, because I did indeed find more ways of expressiving myself creatively through love, and I do actually know myself that much more at year's end than at this time in 2006. And I had the great pleasure of sharing similar journeys with fellow seekers. I end this year, then, feeling blessed. And grateful.
So, from the great I AM from which we all originate, I wish you a wonderful rest of the holiday season (and hopefully a little actual rest during the holiday season!) and a spectacular New Year!
All my best -

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