In just a few short days, we’ll (finally) get to say farewell to what has felt like one of the most challenging years in recent memory. I honestly don’t have any hard data to support whether or not 2016 has been a particularly bad year when lined up with any other year, nor do I think we really get to blame a unit of time for all the awful things that have happened, but … I do know that right at this moment I feel completely wrung out. On a personal level, I don’t have much hope for 2017 being any better, and as I stare down this very short corridor that ends in New Year’s Day, I know that I am going to need to gather some strength. I am pretty certain that I am not alone in that feeling.
I’ll admit that I am someone who likes a good New Year’s resolution. I may not always follow through come June … or… February, really. But, I tend to really like the feeling of conviction and the setting of intention as we turn the corner on a new year. This year, though … it has been hard to get myself excited about something that will benefit me on a personal level when there is so much going on globally.
In an effort to find some inspiration and motivation, I looked up the word “resolution” in my trusty Merriam-Webster dictionary. There were many different definitions, but this one hit me right away:
to progress from dissonance to consonance
The musician in me really resonates with this (no pun intended.) A dissonant chord is one that “clashes.” The notes just don’t feel right. Think of the song “Chopsticks.” It starts with a dissonant chord, and each chord that follows eventually builds until it comes to a final sense of consonance – ending on a pair of notes that feel more pleasant to the ear. There can be an almost physical sense of relief when it gets to that point of resolution, even for such a simple song.
Dissonance might be the best possible word I can think of to use to describe my experience of 2016. When I hear a dissonant chord, I literally feel a physical yearning in my body for release — and that is what this year feels like to me right now. The gratingly off-key political results, the unmitigated violence from civil wars to nightclubs, deaths of beloved public figures, an overall sense of fear as I look at baffling and terrifying choices in my country’s leadership … the energy of this year has been startlingly dissonant, and I am aching for the chord to resolve.
This brings me to my New Year’s resolution for … well, Resolution. The more I think about it, the more it feels right to set an intention to progress from dissonance to consonance in 2017. I am committing right now to consciously embody resolution as much as possible in the coming year. I am already thinking of ways to ritualize this intent on New Year’s Day, and the first thing that comes to mind is painting the word “Resolve” on a river stone and keeping it visible as a reminder.
Here is my prayer:
May I hold space when resolution requires listening.
May I make my voice heard when when resolution requires speaking.
May I step up when resolution requires action.
May I love fiercely when resolution requires support.
May I be in my integrity when resolution requires conviction.
So mote it be.
This post was written by River Roberts