Because it's almost time to usher in a new year!
Every year, as the year wraps up, I like to look back on the last twelve months and reflect.
Today is no different.
Looking back, I had quite an emotional year. As I reflect on it all, I can't help but to appreciate that it all led back to a better understanding of self. Understanding oneself allows for growth to happen. It's not an easy task, delving deep within your own being and confronting your demons, but it's something that I recommend everyone to do.
When you accept who you are, who you truly are, you are then able to move forward in correcting everything else that can be changed about you. Though, we may grow older and our outlook on life may change, our core self does not. Inside, deep within, we are who we have always been. It's just a matter of grasping even a little bit of that that makes all of the difference in the world.
Turning thirty, for me, was probably the best thing that could've happened. Granted, I stayed depressed more than I stayed happy, but that was because I was finally facing my demons. Battling all that makes me a flawed individual in my eyes. Was it easy? Hell no, it wasn't easy, but when has accepting you're not as perfect as you previously assumed ever been easy?
Part of the process in my self discovery was taking accountability for my part in all of my past (and present) decisions. It involved me looking back on my past and acknowledging that I was where I was in life because of the choices and moves that I made or had a part in making. Instead of being mad at so-and-so for something they did that might have effected me, I had to be mad at myself. Accepting that I had complete control of my part in every situation that I previously claimed I didn't, was a hard and huge pill to swallow. (Get your mind out of the gutter!)
Another part of the process in my self discovery was forgiving those that I felt wronged me; be it something they did in my mind or something that they actually did to wrong me. The art of forgiveness was something that I refused to even attempt prior to this year (I'm a grudge holding master) but in order for me to move forward with my journey, I had to truly open my mind to forgiving people. (Believe me, the list seemed endless...) To truly forgive a person, I also for the most part had to forget what it was they did to me to begin with. Though it wasn't easy, in the end, I was able forgive and forget. With that, I began to learn to let things go.
Letting things go is an important process in self discovery. Whether it be people, material things, or memories, at some point you have to let them go. For me, I let go of some of all of the previously listed. If there was a person (family, friend, or foe) that was toxic to me in one form or another, I let them go. If there were material things that I was hoarding that had no emotional value or functional use, I let them go. But most importantly, if there were memories that caused me mental or emotional distress of any kind, I let them go.
We can escape a lot of things, but we cannot escape our mind. Within the recesses of our mind resides every memory of every moment that we've ever had. Even when our subconscious blocks out a certain memory for whatever reason, it's always going to be right there. I'm not saying that letting go of a memory is easy, but in a sense, it can be done. You can desensitize yourself from whatever emotional affect that memory has on you and by doing so, you allow yourself to let it go.
Another part of the process in my self discovery was accepting that there really are things that are out of my control. Granted, there are a lot of things that we as individuals have control over, there are still some things that we don't. For the things that we don't have control over, we can control how it is that we respond to them. I can't control the weather. I can't control traffic. I can't control how a person reacts to me. I can't control my daughter's mood swings. I can't even control the fact that my entire family consists of a bunch of nut jobs. HOWEVER, I can control how I respond to all of that. I can always control my reaction and sometimes how you react to a situation is all that matters. It can be the difference between chaos and complete mayhem.
I feel that even though I've come a long way in my self discovery, I'm not done yet. I honestly don't think a person will ever be done learning about who they really are; they just come a little closer to understanding who they are and their impact on the world around them. I feel that as long as you are living, you are learning and as long as you are learning, you are growing. True growth never stops until death...