Letter from the Editor, Holiday 2020
I woke up this morning to a familiar routine: take my thyroid medicine, listen to one podcast in the darkness of my room, turn off the security system, let the dogs out, make a cup of coffee, and climb into my favorite chair for a bit of quiet reading. Though I listen and read from a variety of authors and sources, often a common theme emerges — and when I am attentive, that theme shows up in other areas of my life, too. Lately that theme has been certainty versus clarity.
For years, I chased certainty like (as my grandpa would say) it was water in the desert. I emphasized the importance of it, I studied how to get it, I prayed for it, and I believed I could (or should) not move forward until I had it. Certainty is safe, comfortable, reliable, and predictable. Certainty is structure and props and data that are meant to fortify resolve. It manifests arrogance and self-righteousness in our success; and fear, blame and shame in the face of failure. When you live in a word that relies on certainty, right versus wrong is pretty black and white - and everything hinges on being or getting it right.
Clarity, on the other hand, doesn’t focus on outcomes as much as it emphasizes clear-thinking based on a humble understanding of who we are, what we believe, what we need, and what we can or can’t live with. Clarity carries a quiet confidence that listens to the small voice within and trusts that though we can never know or control all of the factors at play, we can get comfortable and stay true to ourselves no matter the result. Clarity right-sizes us in the world and makes uncluttered space for shooting from the hip and rolling with the punches. Clarity is the freedom to fall flat on our face and get back up to try again. Clarity sees and celebrates not only the black and white and shades of gray, but every color imaginable. Clarity allows us to cultivate creativity and step out in faith in the face of very uncertain circumstances.
As this year of incredible uncertainty winds down, my wish for you is an opportunity to clear your mind, heart, and physical space of the inevitable clutter of information, creature comforts, and inputs of data and things so that you can find your own clarity. May 2021 bring to you and yours the peace of knowing that though the world can get topsy turvy and throw curve balls none of us could have imagined — how we respond is up to us. Here’s to a new year filled with creativity, courage, compassion, and clarity.