Palliative Care Queensland

Moving forward in the New Year

Moving forward in the New Year

Terry Ayling, Spiritual Care Coordinator

When I was growing up, I loved all things new. I had disdain for old buildings, secondhand clothes, and re-gifted toys. I would never drop into an Op Shop. I relished new days, New Years, and new beginnings. Old things were smelly. Endings, painful, depressing – something to get past.

As a young man, an ancient text quenched my thirst for the new: “Do not remember the former things or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing” (Isaiah 43:18-19a). But as my life unfolded, with its unceremonious ups and downs, I realised dismissing or diminishing the past and its unforgettable, painful, (and often beneficial!) experiences – meant I was denying whole parts of my Self.

There is contemplation in the cracks, stories in the scars, beauty in the brokenness, and wisdom in the wrinkles.

When we are re-minded, we become aware and can live consciously. When we re-member, we connect with stories and be-come present again to others (even those who have died, or who are no longer with us). When we re-orientate, we integrate all of life’s experiences and become whole.

Our Indigenous brothers and sisters teach this deep wisdom. “Creation time isn’t a long, long ago event, because creation is still unfolding now, and will continue to if we know how to know it…(there is) no start and finish but a constant state where past, present and future are all one thing, one time, one place. Every breath ever taken is still in the air to breathe. I breathe the breaths of the Ancestors, and everybody else’s too. Always was, always is, always will be.” (from Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta)

As I come to the end of this year – a year like no other – and stand at the dawning of a new year, I (we) have a choice – I can for-get, or I can for-give, the past and all it means for me. I can dis-count its gifts, or dis-cover its creative offerings. I am grateful that, at some point, I realized what I really enjoyed most was old things made new – new/old things – just like me. What about you?

Please contact our Spiritual Care team if you have any questions:

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