I might institute a new tradition this year.
Since it hasn’t even been a month, and I already want to change my one word for 2012 to two, I’m wondering if this should be the year of the 12.
What does that mean? Quite simply, maybe this year is so monumental that it cannot be contained in one little word like STAND.
Maybe 2012 is going to be so big, so life-defining that each month needs its own word. So that by the end of the year, I will have not one, but twelve powerful, clear words to describe what 2012 has been all about.
Perhaps STAND isn't meant to stand alone.
It’s the only way I can explain the experience I had last night. There I was minding my own business when another word started pulsing upward, beating in my heart so hard that I could not ignore it.
In the same way STAND emerged and demanded my full attention at the end of December, another word wants to be front and center too. It's name is Through.
When I talk with people about the grief process, I find myself using the same phrase over and over again: “The only way through it is through it.”
Yes, there are things in life that I just have to go THROUGH. I can’t take shortcuts around them. I can’t wish their existence away. I can’t push the fast forward button and breeze past them unscathed. I simply have to go through them.
More specifically, I don’t possess a magic wand to quell the storm that’s raging in my life right now. If I want to emerge on the other side, I DO need to STAND, but I also need to go through it.
In that way, Through reminds me to stay in the process and surrender to the fact that I can't escape it.
But Through reminds me of other things too.
Just before falling asleep last night, I gave myself a pep talk. I do that often. I told myself things like, “You are going to get through this. This storm will not last forever."
In that conversation, Through stood out as a beacon of hope. In just one word, it spoke to me, "This too shall pass."
And yet, Through wasn't done speaking. It wanted to remind me of one more thing.
In times past, I have thrown in the towel when things got too hard. Playing the victim, I’d fold my arms across my chest and say, “I’m through.” I felt defeated.
But that is not my stance anymore. I have declared war on the victim and put my stake in the ground for something different. Because I am through with living life that way.
Through reminds me that the times they are a-changin'. My standard of what I will tolerate and accept in my life has radically shifted. And that's a good thing. I'm through.
I’m still not sure if it’s going to be the year of the 12. But if a new word comes knocking on my door at the end of next month, I’ll be listening.
How about you? Have any new words been been tap, tap, tapping on your heart?