365/365 – Meditation Games #365 – Old Reflections, New Year

Developer: Brad Smith

Launcher Quote: “The association of fun has been sold to us by the alcohol industry. This is a space that reflects on a previous version of myself. A version of myself that I am no longer defined by. Happy new year.”

As a New Year approaches, most people enter a reflective state in which they take a look back at the year in question, try to figure out where they were in relation to where they are, and move forward from there. It’s a practice that is as old as perhaps any one of us remembers, and is our window to new things happening with a new year approaching. But there are some that look back even further than a year, looking at the year almost-spent as an overall next step in the progression of longer term goals, and when that progression is the result of refocusing or changing oneself, it becomes even more important to do so – and that’s what impression I got when I was taking a look at this last entry in the Meditation Games project.

Alcoholism or any kind of substance abuse is a dangerous beast, most often because it robs you of your identity, of what you could be, and at most, dulls the pain or the suffering that drives such practices and never really solves them. While it’s unclear that this specifically is what the developer is referring to specifically, that sense of not being your self because you are stuck in being someone else due to unhealthy or unproductive practices is important to realize. We can and should be more whenever we can aspire to be so, and when the inevitable burdens and difficulties of life press down upon us, it is easy to retreat into a space where you engage in practices that rob you of that potential, keep you where you are, and worst of all, keep you from being your best self.

It’s never easy to make a change or shift out of these circumstances, and for some, it is more an ongoing process than it is something where you follow a step-by-step guide and emerge from a dark tunnel into the light of a new identity. But the important thing is to make the attempt, and to be aware of the resources, friends, and people you can lean on to do so. A journey to change things, especially in the light of changing something that is self-destructive or, like the developer says, encouraged by an industry that discourages yet profits off of overconsumption of its product, is never a simple thing. In fact you could argue that it’s supposed to be hard. But a new year, with new possibilities and new beginnings, is the perfect fulcrum for that. It’s one in which when the new year, and in this case, the new decade, rolls around, we can look forward to new things and new changes, even as we look back and our old selves and leave old, bad practices behind.

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