I love the symbolism that surrounds the beginning of a new year. I know a lot of resolutions fall by the wayside. I know that you can clean your slate anytime you please. But I still love the fresh start of a new year. You’re simultaneously beginning and ending something with the Universe, like it’s granting you permission to set down the unwanted things you’ve been carrying, to abort missions, to abandon ship. All while giving you so much encouragement to now pursue bigger and better things that will fill that space. It’s a realignment with the energy of the universe. And I’m so ready for it.
Based on observations and discussions, there’s a fair consensus that 2016 was brutal. I’d have to agree. Politically, globally, socially but also personally. It was just a tough year. The experiences with the most valuable lessons don’t typically come easy. They’re full of our greatest challenges and our most defining growing pains. Now that I’m aware of this trade off, I try to face adversity with more strength, perseverance and hope. I know that discomfort is temporary. The powerful and positive result, however, will be longer lasting.
Over the last several weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on my greatest takeaways from 2016. Looking at it from the fresh perspective of a brand new start was a bit like pulling the wool from over my eyes. I hadn’t been seeing what I was going through these past several months clearly. Which makes sense. We are wired to self-protect. But as I made some changes and progress this last month and looked at 2017 with more hope and ambition, I had a new reference point with which to gauge my recent emotional state and behavior.
I experienced a lot of changes in 2016 and I did not adjust well or quickly. I withdrew. I experienced prolonged bouts of discouragement and grief. This year was challenging and I feel that all I have to show for it is a bunch of struggle and not much reward. When I look back, I see a lot of missed opportunity. I could have made more of my year. This realization is sad, but it lets me see where the hiccups came. What I allowed to hold me back. Where I got stuck.
When I look back at how I processed the obstacles of 2016, I see myself in a new light. I’ve learned more about myself, my capabilities and my potential just by reflecting on what I was able to overcome, even when I was down. I think we’re all tested from the trials of life from time to time. It’s easy to feel as if we’re treading water or going nowhere fast. But when we stop to look back at how far we’ve come, how we’ve improved from a previous low, imagine what we can achieve when we’re aiming from a higher vantage point. When we know better, we want better. And we do better.