Updated: Dec 5, 2018

it has been one of the greatest and most challenging years of my life.

i learned about resiliency. how deeply it fights for the survival of the body and the mind. i learned that most everything that flows into our lives, also gets up and flows right out. that the things we most cherish and the things that cause us the deepest feelings of pain, are temporary. that moments end. feelings fade. pain subsides. leaves fall. flowers wilt. and while i want to hold on to this fleeting life with white knuckles, i have also learned about the consistent patterns of life which are born through the cycle of life and death. when moments end, new ones begin. when pain falls away, we are left with peace. leaves fall to the ground to grow again with a new spring. flowers wither away and nurture the soil so that new blooms may sprout in their place. so i loosen my grip and flow. i learned that the duality of life offers hope.

i learned about the power of vulnerability. about the blossoming that comes when we find courage and strength in our story. when we own the ugly bits. the dust on the lamp that hasn't been lit in years. i learned how to soften while the world shouted at me to harden. to build a wall. to keep people out. i found sweet nectar living behind past trauma. i learned that sharing our hearts is the only way we can pour our nectar into the tea cup of our communities. i learned that giving ourselves the permission to be vulnerable offers light.

i learned how to become a better lover to this beautiful world. how to tread lighter. how to walk quieter. how reducing our outer impact gifts us with infinite internal treasures. through simplifying my life i learned that i have everything i need. i learned that accepting the invitation to find contentedness offers abundance.

i learned how to re-claim my life. how to serenade my soul with walks. with books. with baths. with warm energy. with soft light. i learned how to choose myself. my passions. my creativity. my path. i wrapped it all up in my arms and made a place for it in my home. no more keeping my dreams out in the rain. i learned that loving myself first offers bliss. that self- acceptance is a portal to a better life.

i learned that i won't always have control over the way suffering manifests in my body but that i will always always always have control over the way it shows up in my mind. that i can choose whether or not the pain gets to live in my spirit... i decided there is no place for it. so i swept, dusted, vacuumed, mopped, opened the windows, aired out, and lit a candle. no more excess hurt. no more clutter. this life is the only one i get. i am going to lather myself in warm light. i learned that clearing space for joy offers peace.

as i gaze back on this past year, i can see it all so clearly.

the moment i refused to wallow any longer in self pity. the day i decided to start loving better. the weeks i spent in the forest thinking i would find myself there. the month i actually found myself when i decided to place my creative life at the center of my world. the first time my lips breathed the words "i am a writer" to the heart of my mother and was fully seen. the day i took everything not supporting my dreams to the donation bin. shed my weathered skin. re-claimed my soul's name. cleared the clutter so my poems had room to dance in the early morning light. the afternoon i decided to take ownership of my health while sipping a bowl of tea. the revelation that i will not be a victim to suffering any longer.

and so, with gratitude for the journey, here i go. stronger and wiser as i run my next lap around the sun.

warm electric honeycomb butter, light up my life. here we go 23!

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© 2023 by Morgan Rae Hoog​