A new year ushers in a symbolic beginning, an end to the 12 months past and whatever they have brought – the good, the delicious, the ugly and the unpalatable.

It also brings a ton of clichés and resolutions, only to be forgotten and broken tomorrow.  I prefer to take a rest from whatever life-induced (or party-induced, for many) haze I’m in, for a moment to think about who I want to show up as in the world.

I read this poem today on Facebook, of all places. It was posted by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, the book that inspired so many of us to live richer, deeper, more meaningful lives – or at least to begin the dream of one. This poem stirred up an impulse to be romantic about life, which I tend to be in my optimistic moments.

The difference here is that the romance is not with Prince Charming, or some other creature who will save you with their love. The romance here is with yourself.

After all, great journeys begin with an inner calling, and you can only hear that stirring if you are aware enough of your own inner longing.

LOVE AFTER LOVE, by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

For this year – all freshly untouched – may this be a beginning of starting where we are and finding love in that exact place.

May this year be the beginning of our feast on life.

That may be the best resolution of all.

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