When the New Year Leaves You Empty

When the New Year Leaves You Empty

I’m not sure why, but it’s been a skimpy week for inspiration. Maybe it’s the lingering transition period from the holidays to the New Year. (My sad, undecorated Christmas tree doesn’t help.)

Or the emptiness of my home after my family left me with so many wonderful memories.

Or the unintended discoveries I made in the midst of my new obsession for decluttering and cleaning out my files – book proposal rejection letters, divorce spreadsheets, letters from Mom and Dad, drawings from my children when they were toddlers, medical records of my illness and subsequent paralysis, and dozens of cards and letters I received during that time wishing me health and healing.

The evidence of loss was almost overwhelming; I had to dig deep during my quiet time to find inspiration.

Mark Nepo didn’t disappoint.

In his meditation, Precious Human Birth, he writes, “Tomorrow you could die. . . But today you are precious and rare and awake. Ask what you need to know now. Say what you feel now. Love what you love now.”


Love what you love now.

I needed those words. They helped me push aside the feelings of loss by remembering to focus on the things I still have, the things I still love.

Now is the operative word, a great reminder to stay present and to give the past its proper place. Granted, we may need to first feel the feeling and then deal with it. As my files so clearly showed me, I’m not living the life I’d planned. I have to accept that fact, one more time, and get through it.

Life can be so hard sometimes. Feel so empty. Yet, there is still much good to be found within those plans for our best-that-could-never-be.

Love what you love now.

And so I shall.

I’m going to give those things I love now an extra measure of attention, letting them grow and root out emptiness. From my morning cup of coffee to the evening’s final snuggle from my puggle, Tripp.

I’m determined to cherish today’s loves a little more and let them lift my spirits.

How about you? What lifts your spirits when the emptiness of loss visits you? Tell me about it. I’d love to know.

My best – always,

Becky  (Nana B)

P.S. I guess Mark Nepo delivered my first dose of my New Year’s theme: encouragement. Indeed, his words “gave me courage” to keep going.

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