This is one of my favorite weeks of the year. The week between Christmas and the new year. The merriment of the holidays is past and has provided us with another year of memories. For some of us these are the best memories of the year. Others may find the time sad and lonely. No matter the sentiment it’s time to wrap the ornaments, take the stockings down, finish the leftovers, and enjoy the final crumbs of cookies.
This particular week provides us with the ability to reflect on the previous year yet it still provides us with the hope for the year to come. I love to learn and, for me, reflection is a time for learning. I don’t think there is a “right” way to spend time reflecting, although there are probably thousands of self-help books and internet sites to provide direction. Personally, I choose to close my eyes and think of all of the happy moments and what I might have done differently in those not so favorable moments. Sometimes I will play songs that remind me of a special moment or person. It’s not the method of reflection that is important. What is important is that we dig down to the deepest depths of our soul and remember the moments of the year past that shaped our life and personality.
Reflection, however, is only useful if you take what you have learned and use it to shape your future. This is not always an easy task. Reflection can produce many emotions. Happiness, thankfulness, sadness, guilt and shame are just to name a few. Though some of these emotions are admittedly difficult to deal with this is the perfect time to consider taking the leap forward toward closure. This might mean forgiving oneself and letting past behavior and attitudes stay in the past. This could mean forgiving others and deciding to end relationships that no longer create happiness. Maybe it’s even mending a relationship that seemed to be long gone. For when you make it through the emotional maze of the year past you can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
This light is like a beacon of hope. A quick Google search of the “definition of hope” tells us that hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen”. It is knowing that a new year is beginning and provides you the opportunity to start fresh. This hope does not promise only happy moments and it certainly doesn’t promise that life will be any easier in the coming year. What it does promise is to give you the opportunity to choose your expectations and desires for the coming year.
I think this is exactly the reason so many of us choose to make a New Year’s resolution list. Somewhere, deep down inside, we relish in the fact that we have the opportunity to embrace the hope and light of the new year and reinvent even a tiniest portion of our own self based on the findings from our personal reflection. What comes out of this will be different for each individual but one thing will remain the same. Reflection and learning of the past combined with the light and hope of the future offer the gift of peace in the present. Take the time now to treasure the reflection, slow down to enjoy the peace and embrace the hope.
Want to share your thoughts on reflection, enjoying the peace and embracing the hope? Please take a moment to leave your comments.