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Suns & Shields

By Rachelle Hamlin

Read more of Rachelle's editorials:  Suns & Shields Index page

The Gift of a Renewed Year

By: Rachelle Hamlin

Fort Fairfield Journal, January 21, 2015

It isnít about resolutions this year; last year was a singular year that I never want to see repeated. Ordinarily I enjoy making time for my New Yearís Resolutions but this year the resolve appeared out of nowhere, filling my entire being from toenails to hair tips. Iím going to be HAPPY this year. Nothing is going to make me otherwise!

Somehow I realized that little by little I relinquished my happiness to the little mice and rats that came to nibble it away. When did I get unhappy, downhearted or lose my natural vibrancy? It happened during the invisible incidents of last year. They only became visible when the misery accumulated like snow falling gently and silently during the night when we are asleep. Just before December ended, I woke up and I could see it everywhere.

The new me is not going to be doing things in the same way as I did them before. Iíd been waking up to a rigid routine that brought me to the work cycle, that brought me to food, that brought me to the next work cycle that brought me to necessary chores that made me tired that brought me to routines that brought me to television that brought me to my bed numb with the nibble marks of mice and rats. I lost my way in a maze of the necessary for one reason only. I stopped steering the ship and went on autopilot. Call it the loss of innocence, call it passivity, call it coping with life, by any description it had one result, I was unhappy. This was going to stop.

Happy New Year! It is what we all say to each other, but do we take it seriously enough or is it just an empty sentiment we take as seriously as the sudden sight of a shooting star? Pretty special, but gone without blinking or thinking.

For me HAPPY is the dynamite that exploded in my heart as 2014 came to an end. HAPPY was the gift of God to me as the New Year arrived. HAPPY was the message in the fireworks that exploded in the sky in New Zealand and Australia as they began to celebrate 2015. By the time the ball dropped in New York City, USA, I understood that I had never really appropriated a true understanding of how gosh darned important the whole idea of happiness is! It was an epiphany for me.

Immediately I developed a strategy for implementing a realistic plan to stay happy from now on. Strangely it seemed so easy because I had learned how to train my mind to recognize when my belly was full in order to keep from gaining unwanted weight. If I eat enough at a meal. I stop eating. Right then and there, no second thoughts. If someone else wants to comment on that, I just say: Iím full. It works.

Now I am, as I write this, six days into 2015. I have been happy continuously for six days straight, no matter what my circumstances have been. I had one ratty experience with someone that in the past would have taken me away from my bliss. I looked at that situation, and I KNEW I already had my bellyful of that kind of negative energy. So I just said: Iím not available. I wasnít. I removed myself from the ratís table.

I fully expect that I am going to be my own worst enemy when it comes to stretching out these six days into a year, and then forward to a life, but like my plan to stay fit and slim, my plan to stay happy is with me to stay. As my body is a gift from God to me for my enjoyment, so is the gift of happiness my 2014 Christmas gift from God to make me eternally happy, starting now. Wow! Who expected that?

I tell you, life lived with God is everything that people say it can be. There is a continuous stream of beneficial life experiences that flows into our minds, our hearts, our relationships; there is nothing that is not eventually changed for the better. One New Testament scripture tells us that everything works out to the good for them that are the children of God called unto His purposes. I found out first hand that that is so true. It does require however that we stay alert, because He doesnít work in spite of us being unthinking, unfeeling zombies; He works with us. This aspect, His being with us, has long been understood as a principle of what Godís nature is like. We even have a name for that part of Godís nature. It is Emmanuel, God with us. You see it on the Christmas Cards that appear almost every Christmas season. You hear it in the Christmas Carols. But, sometimes the meanings of all of these things zips by us as beautiful as a shooting star and just as soon forgotten. Dear ones, itís up to us to catch the shooting stars as they come by. We must learn to catch them, let them increase our happiness and never let them go.



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