Prior to the beginning of the new year, I received two emails—one from Simran Singh suggesting I pick a word or words to live into in the coming year, and one from Lissa Rankin suggesting I pick a word or theme for the year—and to do this as opposed to making resolutions.
Had I received only one email, I might not have given it a second thought. But when the universe speaks in stereo, I take it seriously. So, while I was musing on this, and wondering what word or words or theme I might choose, the new year arrived.
And on New Year’s Day, I received this from Rob Breszny’s Free Will horoscope: “I think we humans need some new emotions. It’s true that old standards like sadness, anger, jealousy, and fear are as popular as ever. But I would personally love to be able to choose from a greater variety, especially if at least 51 percent of the new crop of emotions were positive or inspiring. Now it so happens that in 2014 you Pisceans will be primed to be pioneers. Your emotional intelligence should be operating at peak levels. Your imagination will be even more fertile than usual. So how about it? Are you ready to generate revolutionary innovations in the art of feeling unique and interesting feelings? To get started, consider these: 1. amused reverence; 2. poignant excitement; 3. tricky sincerity; 4. boisterous empathy.”
That’s it, I thought. Amused reverence. I had no doubt I could work on feeling that particular emotion as I already feel that God has an awe-some sense of humor. I’ve said or thought “very funny, God” countless times in my life like the time I was angry with Him and was seriously considering taking a break from Morning Prayer and church, etc., and found myself being called off the bench, or in this case, pew, to read for a lay reader who hadn’t shown up for church that day. Very funny, God. I was not even a lay reader in that church. Or, the time I found a penny (pennies from heaven. I find a lot of them—293 this past year.), and was musing on the saying “I don’t even have two pennies to rub together” and one step later there was a penny at my feet. Very funny, God. Because, as long as you have two pennies to rub together, everything will turn out just fine, right?
Then, as I was about to pack away my grandmother’s Hummel Nativity set this morning (the 12 days of Christmas end tomorrow), I realized that I already have amused reverence down pat. After all, it was with amused reverence that I placed the miniature dinosaur (though I no longer remember where he came from) at the nativity scene to begin with. And that’s because, if there had been dinosaurs around at the birth of Christ, they would have made the trek to the manger. At least, I think they would have.
So. Poignant excitement. That is an emotion that definitely bears looking into. And boisterous empathy. That intrigues me as well. Tricky sincerity, though, I’m not so sure about.