Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Should Auld Acquaintances Really Be Forgotten?

I can't believe that I have been singing the same song every New Year's Eve for my entire life and never once stopped to ask myself what it means. For instance, who is an "auld" acquaintance and should or should they not be forgotten?

In a recent blog on the Huffington Post by David Tomar, he writes: "Simply stated, Auld Lang Syne is about the endurance of friendship, cherishing the past even as we look forward to the future ..."

As I look back on this past year, I am grateful for the friendships that are in my life, some old and some brand new, but I also recognize that as we move through life we often decide to take a different road and sometimes there are people who just can't make that trip with us. For whatever reason, we have to let them go. Even if time passes and we realize that we have stopped thinking about them as much as we used to, we should not feel guilty. Rather, we wish them the best and move on.

I think an "auld acquaintance " can also be those ideas and habits that no longer serve us. With the long awaited Planetary Birthday last December 2012 behind us, many people have used that as a catalyst to re-examine their lives and rearrange their priorities. Maybe we've decided that we are no longer happy with our careers and are striking out on our own. Maybe those of us who have seen 50 come and go, or even 60, have decided to redefine what aging means and give it a new face, a new look and a new feeling. We are throwing out the beliefs and conditioning that defined our parents' generation. Sometimes that also means letting go of old traditions and "the way we've always done it" so we can create new traditions that celebrate who we are now.  We look back in gratitude and understanding to what came before, and we let it go with love.

I always like to do a little ceremony on New Year's Eve. I take slips of paper and write down all the people, events and habits that I want to say good-bye to. Then I put them in a clay bowl and take them out on the porch where I light them and watch the papers burn to ashes as the smoke rises up into the sky. When the fire goes out I sprinkle the ashes into the wind (Note: up where I live "into the wind" can be howling and cold. In that case I rip up all the papers into tiny scraps and flush them, sending them out to sea). I always feel so much lighter and the coming dawn is filled with so much more promise when I do this.

What kind of ceremony or special event can you do to bid good bye  to "auld acquaintances" that will honor them and while still letting them move on? It's not so much what you do but the intention you do it with.

I wish you all, my dear  friends, a happy, healthy, abundant 2014.

And so it is.