Last week Kaspa and Satya set me to thinking. Kaspa wrote:
For the past few years Satya and I have chosen a word for the year, something we'd like to nourish or see grow in ourselves. This year I'm struggling to find a single word for what I'd like to see change.
I saw with great clarity towards the end of last year that what was driving some of my choices was not simply (as I thought) a sense of the right thing to do, but that there was also a part of me always looking out for the "judge"; someone who was going to catch me and punish me if I made a mistake.
I've kept an eye on that part recently and can see it's been affecting more than I realised. Not only do I judge myself but I can also take on that role when I'm watching others. Sometimes I'm afraid of the judge, sometimes I am the judge, and sometimes (thank goodness) the judge is nowhere to be seen.
This year I'd like to soften that judgement: to not worry so much about what the judge thinks of me or of other people.
Each word that we choose for the year has a shadow too: a trap that we can fall into when we think we are developing what is good, but in reality is just as dysfunctional as before. The shadow of my word (or words) is that I could end up giving up on any kind of discernment, or that I end up going with the flow when I really should be making a judgement.
I guess the middle way is a skilful use of the judge, rather than giving up on that part of me completely. Sometimes we do need to make a stand - not out a fear of getting caught, but because we really are tuned in to the right thing to do.
What would you like to nourish or see grow this year? What would you like to let go of? Can you choose a word for 2015, and what might the shadow of that word be?
The word that came to me - and it did feel as though the word gave itself to me rather than that I found it - is 'settling'.
I'm thinking of these meanings:
- move to
- put down roots
- set up home
- take root
- take up residence.