With Christmas slowly being tucked away into the recesses of our memory boxes, and with the new year almost leapfrogging ahead, it heralds that annual, almost compulsory of activities, the act of reflection.
For many of us, anything that is reflective, e.g.: mirrors, constructive feedback, etc. can cause a major breakout of hives, rashes and a plethora of other unpleasant signs that something inside of us is trying to break out. Whatever it is that needs to get out, it will take any route possible, just to have some light shone upon that “thing” that we really, really don’t want to look at.
The year that “was”, will often bring a mixed bag of emotions, happy memories of times when things went well, followed by things we’d rather forget. The latter having a knack for pushing its way to the front of the line, vying for awareness, like the annoying little attention seekers that they are.
The challenge is finding the courage to address those attention seeking emotions if we are to transform them and bring peace into our lives. Notice I didn’t say Joy. Sometimes, it’s impossible to find joy in what was a challenging and downright painful experience. For example, the loss of a loved one, being fired from a job you love, and then struggling to find other work, or having to stop studying the course that was going to change your life’s direction because of a family crisis. Then of course there are those memories of events where we acted in less than noble ways, and each time we remember, we feel those emotional prickles all over again. As hard as it is, the only way to move forward, to find peace and resolution is to face these difficult memories and gain the wisdom and learning and then let them go.
When conducting our yearly reflection, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our own life sucks and everyone else’s is perfect. We all have those friends who just seem to land on their feet constantly, then there are the high achievers who completed PhDs, travelled the world and started businesses that are overnight successes……and then there’s the rest of us. We, the rest of the population, whose year could be labelled as average if we were lucky and downright difficult and challenging if we weren’t so lucky.
This past year, I’ve had my fair share of challenges in the shape of health issues, along with the demands of transitioning teenagers and general life stuff, and these things combined, mean I have little to hold up as “trophy moments”, but then, making it through the year in one piece, and with my mind intact, is perhaps my greatest achievement, and I’m ok with that. 🙂
For me, 2015 appears unproductive, as we measure it in the West, with little financially contributed, no courses completed, and no trophy moments. But what I did gain last year, was a hard won unravelling, a change so profound, that I’m not sure I recognise myself. So in spite of not achieving a single “useful thing”, I’ve gained more than I could have imagined and I’m glad I had the courage to take the another step, another look in the mirror, even when faced with the challenge of stripping and baring, and then rebuilding.
So as I sit and ponder the year that was and ask the Universe for a gentle transition into the year that is, I hope that for those who found last year challenging, may you find nuggets of wisdom and healing in your struggles, and may you again be filled with a renewed wonder for the mystery that is life on this beautiful blue planet. May you find a new vision for the possibilities that lie ahead and I wish you all the very best as we move toward the sacred unknown.