From the perspective of spiritual and mental health, 2018 was like the years that preceded it, marked by imbalances that I had neglected to correct. My memory of 2018 is comprised predominantly of the voids I filled with ersatz surrogates for love, the anxiety that swarmed unchecked into every crevice of my consciousness, and the pervasive emptiness that seemed to hollow out the foundation of most everything I undertook. It was yet another year where I asked: When will I learn? Will I break before I do?
But don’t take that as a declaration of defeat. It’s a meditation on hope. A grim, gritty kind of hope, bred over the years on a steady diet of my own shortcomings and insights. This hope is often all I can muster on a given day, and I try not to imagine where my life would be without it. It is rooted in one simple idea.
My world as I know it is refracted to me through my mind. All that I know, I know through this imperfect, fallible lens. All this time when I wanted so desperately for things to change, I failed to make the one change that mattered most. The one change that could free me from my suffering. 2018 will go down in my memory as the year I began to master the simple lesson from which all life’s wealth derives: If I can change my mind, I can change my world.
If there could be a mantra for 2019 onward, this would be it. If there could be a way out of the spiritual waywardness and suffering that has characterized the past few years of my life, this would be it.
These words can be but a slogan, a competition, kitsch. But I’ve been starving for these words in a capacity beyond these. I’ve been needing these words as my mantra, mandate, salvation.
If I can change my mind, I can change my world.