My word for 2021 has been 'presence'. This word, and my reflections upon it, have served me well throughout the year. I have tried to be more present in different aspects of life which, in turn, have enabled me to be more available. I have also reflected on my own gift of presence which I still struggle to fully comprehend, but I end the year more aware and able to celebrate it.
Those of you who have read previous years' word of the year posts know the word is not always easily forthcoming. This year is different. This word came to me over a week ago and has not left me alone. It is also a word I would have never have imagined myself choosing. The word 'accordance' seems quite legalistic and judgmental to me. I imagine a judge declaring that someone has not lived in accordance with the law, or some pious person informing me I haven't quite lived up to the expected standard. Although I am not a particularly rebellious person, I have spent the last few years attempting to fight the perceived need to conform and keep the peace. So, this word has come as a surprise.
Looking into the etymology of the word 'accord' has helped me understand its importance in my life at this point. The Old French origins, dating back to the twelfth century, are about agreement and harmony. It is however, the Vulgar Latin origins that ring true: to be of one heart or to bring heart to heart. For me, this is about integrity. Over the last decade I have spent a lot of time discovering my true self - the me I was before I was. While living life in accordance with your true self should be the most natural thing in the world, I find that the expectations of our society convince us to be something else. The lure of success, wealth, admiration and a myriad of other things constantly divert me away from my centre and stability.
So, in 2022, I want to live in accordance to the heart of my life that I know to be real. I want to bring the heart of my living in line with the heart of my life more and more. But to be clear - I am not going to do this in a legalistic manner. I know I will stuff up. I know there will be times when I get caught up in what the world expects of me. But, in all my imperfection, if I can come to the end of 2022 and say I gave it a good shot I will be content. To live in accordance with my true self, who I was created to be, takes a lifetime of humility and unlearning. 2022 will be just a small step along the way.