Some are more than eager to exit 2007, and get the New Year started. The excitement about new beginnings and a fresh start is one of mankind’s remarkable features as it proves that we are highly resilient. Even after a year where unfinished plans, failed endeavors, or sadness might have held sway, we have in our nature the ability to look ahead and dream again. In the darkest moments of a bad year when only gloom seems to prevail we are told to hold to the notion that better days are ahead. Others who care offer that timeless advice, and we nod in agreement to be kind, but at the time those words are heard we often do not believe in the power to bounce back.
Getting from the darkness to the light again is a trip that requires patience and self-acceptance of where one is, and where one wants to end up. It also requires the time to make the trip.
Millions of Americans will always reflect on 2007 with a sense of sadness and loss, be it a failed marriage, loss of a job, illness, or the death of a loved one. For many people bittersweet memories will be the strongest leftover from the past year. But if you are one that endured hard times this year, and coped with them, then there are lessons that were gained. With them comes the hope for a New Year.
To live life fully means that we must experience the entire array of events that come with the human experience. Bright moments at one end of the spectrum, and tear filled days at the other end. If we love the sunshine, we also must embrace the darkness. When life forces us to deal with painful events the worst thing to do is shy away from facing the emotions inside. We are only fooling ourselves by pretending to cage them. Eventually the situation will demand attention, and if we do not deal with our feelings honestly at the time they are in front of us, we are doomed to deal with them in another form later.
In the mad rush that many have constructed as their daily life, it is difficult to find the time to deal with sadness. In the late 1800’s one could still put out black on their doors to provide the time and space required for healing after the loss of a loved one. The public respected the black fabric. No one expected that in two weeks all would be fine again. Today we have pushed ourselves to the point where in the hope of making it easier to get people to a funeral without disrupting work hours the deceased person’s visitation and funeral are all held in a few hours on one night. I first heard of this in September, and find that it is spreading. It makes me ill, as emotional needs should not be second place to the bottom line for a business.
It is not selfish or out of bounds to demand the time one needs to replenish the soul and body after a rough episode. Finding the perfect means of serenity is essential. It might be found in the sunsets each night, or the morning blooms that erupt in the dew outside the window. It might be found in long walks, or even longer runs. Whatever the means to soothe and heal it should be applied regularly. And to do it correctly will demand a ‘time-out’ from what is considered the ‘normal’ routine. Whether it be for an hour each day, or a day each week, the most important way to heal is to allow the space and time to do it correctly.
If 2007 was rough it is in our nature to hope for a brighter 2008. If we applied the lessons of coping correctly on the ragged edges of life just lived, then we are prepared to hold our head up and march into the New Year.
I wish you all the best. Happy New Year.