Renewal: Make it new again?

“I want my life like it was.”  I’ve read those words in fiction and biography.  I’ve heard friends confess this to me.  I’ve had these thoughts and may have said these words myself.

They bear some sense of regret, maybe.  Or fear,  fatigue, or anger.  Maybe all of these.  We utter things like this when we find ourselves in some place in our lives that we don’t want or think that we can bear. We long to go back–to have the life we had before.

Is renewal going back to what we had before?  The word means to make new again, but does that mean having our lives the way they used to be?  Even if it does, that’s not really renewal from a healthy perspective, is it?  When we long to go back to the way things used to be, we have encountered some difficulty, and really may be grieving the loss of some innocence or simplicity that we think we remember.

What if renewal means finding a new way to see my life?  What if renewal means sitting with everything that has accrued in my life and allowing it to speak to me with new words, new insights,  new ways of being in my own flesh?  What if renewal is not about going back to the way things were but moving into some new way of being that I have not imagined?

What if renewal means, for me, in my life, revolution?  Can I leg go, today, of the things that would hold me back from this trajectory forward?  Who else will this affect?   Am I ready to respond to the change?  Renewal can be work.  Renewal can be a call?   What am I hearing, today, in my life?

Bob Patrick

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