Every year as December commences and feelings of new beginnings start to bloom, we are given the opportunity to stop, turn, and glance back on the entire year that now exists behind us. This time of introspection is important – not only for ourselves and our own personal growth, but also for how it shapes the way in which we continue to walk through the world. As you sit and plan your resolutions and future goals, here are eight thoughts to humbly carry with you into the new year.
LIFE ISN’T UNFAIR
People? Sometimes. Culture? Quite often. But life – the act of living and being human – this is not, nor is it out to personally slight you. It may, however, not live up to your self-made expectations or follow through in ways which you think it should. Expectations of yourself, where you are supposed to be, and how others are supposed to act usually only lead to disaster. Life will be incredibly beautiful at times, but it will also be dreadfully painful at others. Enjoy the wave of it all, and be grateful for what does happen rather than resentful for what doesn’t.
NOTHING IS PERMANENT
One of the hardest truths. Times change, people grow, feelings and emotions dissolve or evolve – nothing is permanent no matter how tightly you hold onto it. The sooner you can come to terms with this will determine the percentage of your life lived with peace and gratitude.
YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FEEL
In fact, you are meant to. Nothing you feel or think, no matter how awful it seems, is ever “wrong” – it is merely an opportunity to learn about yourself and our complex world on a new and more intimate level. Without intentionally hurting others, allow yourself to feel and think and grow in whatever way you possibly need. The only road toward good, positive things leads straight through all that is within yourself.
DON’T BLAME OTHERS
When you blame another person for something that has happened in your life you are single-handedly surrendering your ability to make the situation better. If the way you feel is “someone else’s fault” – even if they did intentionally hurt you – then your feelings of anger or disappointment cannot change until that person decides to right the wrong you see. Instead of blaming others for how you feel, do your best to acknowledge that everyone you meet is broken in one way or another (just as you, yourself, are) and be thankful for what you have learned from them.
LIFE HAS SEASONS
Some moments are full of happiness, others are full of dark, endless days. The earth cannot simply wish away the winter, nor is it supposed to, just as you are not meant to control the world. Learn to exist and grow in the seasons of your life instead of using all of your energy to board up your walls.
It can be scary inside, I know. It can be dark and lonely and full of dust, but there is so much to learn if you only look. Once a day, out loud, say that you love yourself – even if you don’t believe it in that moment. You deserve just as much care and warmth and neatly made beds as everybody else. The world is full of beautiful people with gorgeous hearts, but no one can ever love you in the way that you must learn to love yourself.
THE GOOD OLD DAYS ARE RIGHT HERE AND NOW
No matter what you are going through or how busy you are, stop for a moment and take it all in. Someday not too far down the road you will look back and think fondly of each phase in your life – either how deeply you loved it or how much it eventually taught you. Write it on your heart, the good old days are right here and now.
IT WILL BE OKAY
A breakup, a death, confusion about who you are or where you are headed – no matter how deep or raw or low you become, it will be okay. Time actually does heal almost everything, and it will put into perspective the wounds that it can’t. Be kind to yourself, even in the darkness, and know that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be right now.
Above all, walk into this new year with a kind heart for both yourself and others, and remember that all you learn and experience throughout your life is done so beside millions of people who are simply just trying to navigate as blindly as you are. Open up to them, learn with them, experience happiness and pain and love with them – and enjoy the ride while you’re at it.
Michael F. DuBois is a writer, filmmaker and artist living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He has a deep love for the ocean and is interested in stories of peace, introspection and personal growth.