I’ve been working out a Word in me for 2016. I’m calling it the Year of Abandon.

Ready to leave some things behind – some things that haven’t served me, and even a lot of things that have. Ready to accept loss as a part of life. Ready to commit fully to something, to completely live…and still know how to say good-bye.

Mostly it’s time to abandon who I thought I was. Leave her behind. Pack up what I can carry, take one last look at what I thought would be my home forever, prepare to travel unencumbered, and set out for the new.

Abandonment has an uneasy tone to it. And I like how uncomfortable it makes me feel. No one wants to be abandoned, nor to abandon anything.

It’s like quitting midway. A work in progress you leave sitting untouched. There’s a sense that there’s still usefulness there in what remains…but nevertheless, something urgent calls you on. You must go. You must leave it. You must.

The call to abandon starts out softly, but everyday becomes more urgent….steady, consistent, obvious. Something is uneasy. A longing to be whole. The awareness of feeling incomplete. No…divided is a better word. Something old and familiar lingers heavy, threatening the resignation.This growing sense that somehow the joy that has always seemed so elusive suddenly feels attainable, but demanding something of you as well.

Then a loud whisper, “Joy is in honoring her.” Not this her you are abandoning, the other her, she who calls you to set out into the unknown. She tells you, there is a light on the path, and all you must do is walk. And you feel you must heed this voice. It sounds wise, like Presence, like a forgotten companion, like a dear friend to your weary soul. Weary of trying, desperate to be. You go.

She tells you, “Joy is in honoring the gifts you’ve been given…nurture them in winter, and give them away in the spring.” She tells you that your tendency to cling, to hold on, your refusal to let go, this is what can wreck a soul.

There is irony is this. Because there is a recklessness about abandon. It gives everything up. It lets everything go. It forsakes what it knows. It holds nothing captive. It takes no ownership. It is under no influence. It insists upon being unhindered.

It is a higher-self freedom. A sustained “Yes” in my soul. An abandoning to something…

And up there, in that thin air, Joy unfolds itself.