Reflections and Resolutions: Guiding the year ahead with lessons from before

Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers. Rainer Maria Rilke

I want to believe that I am consciously using every lesson I have ever learned in life in a way that supports my integration and growth as a human being. The truth of my awareness, however, speaks to the fact that I am still guided by many beliefs learned unconsciously and my conscious response to some lessons is not quite as enlightened as I wish it could be.

Regardless, my reflection of who I have become over this past year calls for a rousing cheer: I have become a better human being.

I did not get here all by myself. Other humans walked with me along my path for a time. In their shadows, I found my reflection. In their words, I found my sorrows, my hopes, my dreams, my healings. In their eyes, I saw what I meant to them. These humans are my friends, my classmates, my clients, and my strangers. They are all my teachers. They are the collective world I live in. They help me awaken and find my light.

I bring this better new me to this new year. Of course, I bring a new me to each new moment, but I love the symbolic energy associated with new beginnings: a new day, a new moon, a new year. Who am I to be in these next 365 days?

At my spiritual community, the Center for Spiritual Living, our reverend gave a sermon with the beguiling title ““Do Not Seek The Answer; Live The Question”. She went on to talk about the mystical quality of living into the questions I have of myself and life and being grateful for the lessons offered by my questions.

To not seek an answer seems counterintuitive. We are born with inquisitive minds, and our survival requires concrete answers about what to eat, where to sleep, and who to associate with. When clients come to me for pastoral counseling, they want solutions for their troubles, and I am often on the edge of my seat full of remedies just waiting to be tested.

Issues about housing, safety, and survival aside, a client’s true answer will come from his or her own insight. Clients are becoming just as I am becoming in their own human way. My resolution in this new year is to bring the gift of question to my moments, my clients’ moments with me, and, as Rilke said, perhaps we can then live into our answers.

What questions are you living this year?