As with all new things, I have hopes and expectations. The New Year is no exception to this. Other years I have set up goals and tried to accomplish great feats. This year I have decided to do something different.
It seems like everyone is talking about living a life of gratitude. On my meditation app, there is usually something about embracing a more gratitude filled life. I started a few years ago to write down something I am grateful for at the end of every day. Sometimes it is grateful for someone’s kindness or the feelings of peace I experience when my life feels out of control.
This year I wanted to create a little more peace in my life, not through gratitude, though that will be present, but through forgiveness.
I have found that over the years, I have held on to things without realizing it. I have held on to feelings of anger or just plain held on to feelings of hurt that the other person may not have realized they engendered in me. I have held on to so many little things that I lost track of them. This year I am attempting to let them go. I want to let go of all the past hurts and pain. I want to create a new way of moving forward.
Though my new way forward is through gratitude and forgiveness, I will not leave myself open. There are people out there who are not people I want in my bubble. I will continue to be polite and friendly, but I do not have to have them as friends. Keeping myself safe is as important.
I am not sure how this will work. I am not sure how well in the beginning I will remember. I do know that I am going to try to move forward this way. Freeing up some of my mental and emotional space by letting go of the things that usually take up too much space in my head and heart. I will also try to be more open with my family about how their actions affect me so that I am not holding on to feelings of anger or resentment.
The other side of that coin is to ask for forgiveness when I have done something. I have always tried to apologize to my children when I mess up. I hated seeing adults mess up and then not apologize to children simply because they were children. How else do we teach them to accept responsibility for their actions? Apologizing is something that I need to, if not get better at, then at least pay closer attention to it.
There are a lot of things that need to be fixed and healed as we go into this new year. Some are personal, and some of them a more community or global change. I want to look at this year with and through a lens of gratitude and forgiveness. Through these things, I think that I can learn to work with my anxiety and depression. I believe that from this place of gratitude and forgiveness, I can move in a more healing direction. And if I can teach myself to wear a mask without panicking, I can learn to focus on healing other places as well.
May your new year be one of growth and health.