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Remember The Lessons, Not The Disappointments

Remember The Lessons, Not The Disappointments
Remember The Lessons, Not The Disappointments

As we near the end of 2016 I am seeing, and hearing, many people say they are ready to see this year gone. So many celebrity legends have passed this year. And Tuesday, we lost another great, Carrie Fisher. We’ve seen political upheaval with the election, which I will not get in to. And many other accomplishments and defeats.

I however do not subscribe to this thinking. I am not ready to see 2016 gone, yet on the flipside I am ready to see what 2017 has in store for me. Looking back, this year has been a big year for me. Just some of the many lessons and gifts 2016 has brought me are:

I Faced My Fears

This year I faced so many fears, and by doing so, I grew in my sobriety. My sister had a baby in June, and one of my biggest fears was losing her. This fear stems from childhood. My mom and dad divorced when I was 10, and my mom moved out. From that time on I was fearful of getting close to anyone because I thought I would lose them.

For a long time, I didn’t get close to my sister. I kept her at arms-length. But as I grew in my sobriety, that fear slowly ebbed away. We built a relationship over time, and grew to have a strong bond. When the time came for her to have my niece I was terrified. I thought she, or my niece, was going to die. Or, that something would happen to one of them. As it turned out though, they both came through healthy, and my fear was unfounded.

I also faced many other fears over the course of this year. And I am grateful for each opportunity. I am grateful because I realized my fears are of my own making, and facing them head-on helped me grow.

I Grew At My Job

A few months ago, my supervisor took a 2 month leave of absence. For those 2 months, I was in charge, even though I didn’t want to be. Thankfully I have learned to suit up and show up, even when I don’t want to. Because sometimes, what I want doesn’t matter.

During this time, I learned how to ask for help. I learned that I am not Superwoman. That asking for help would not kill me. Asking for help made me stronger, not weaker. It was a hard pill to swallow. It was also difficult to put my ego aside and think of others. But, in the long-run, I am a stronger, better person because of that experience.

I Moved From Grief To Happiness

This year, on March 17th, was the 11-year anniversary of my mom’s death. Up until this year I dreaded St. Patrick’s Day because of this anniversary. I mourned her loss every year, a little less each year as time went on. But this year was different. I finally chose to face that day with gladness and gratitude. I chose to face that day thinking of the good times I had with my mom. I chose to stop playing the “Woe is me, my mom died before I got to know her” card. For the first time in 11 years I chose how I felt about her death.

It’s not that I wasn’t still grieving, it was the fact that I was playing up that grief. I liked feeling sad on that day because people felt sorry for me. This year was the first time I recognized that. I faced that fact, and change how I felt.

My Spirituality Grew

This year I grew in my spirituality. I developed a stronger bond between myself and my Higher Power. I learned the more I trust in my Higher Power, the freer I become. That it doesn’t matter what name I choose for my Higher Power, if I believe in it. And, my conception is finite compared to the greatness my Higher Power can be.

What Have You Accomplished This Year?

These are just a few of the many lessons and accomplishments I have had over the course of this year. This year has been full of growth, and many spiritual experiences. Honestly, there are far too many to list.

Today, I choose to look back on those lessons and accomplishments, instead of the disappointments. Today, I choose to look at what I learned, and take those lessons into 2017. I choose to look for more opportunities to grow from my experiences, rather than beat myself up for everything I did not accomplish.

So, what have you learned this year? What have you accomplished this year? What lessons do you still need to learn and work on? What do you want to keep from 2016 to carry with you into the new year? What do you want to leave behind? My hope for you is that you take this time to reflect on the good times, not the bad. Look for ways to grow, instead of beating yourself up. And remember, you are special, and loved.

Originally published December 29, 2016 – medium.com

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