Looking Back at Your Story in 2017

This year I received a beautiful Christmas card from a friend, enclosed was a lovely note sharing all the joys of her year.  It was a testimony to a wonderful year, a wonderful family, and lots of wonderful memories and experiences.  It read like a short, beautiful, engaging novel and, as often is the case, I was heartfully touched.

I started thinking… maybe as a way to reflect over the last 365 days of our lives we should all write our yearly stories.    

Your story doesn’t have to be about big achievements or grand adventures (or maybe it does).  Maybe your story is more about your on-going kindness, your good deeds, your willingness to be of service to others or for others.  Maybe your story is more about deep reflections, gratitude’s, or favors.  Maybe it’s about who you are, who you’ve become, what you are, what occurred, what you experienced.  Sometimes I think we forget to give ourselves praise and credit for our achievements, both big and small.  This isn’t about being grandiose, it’s about acknowledging the good things, the things to be proud of.  Positive thoughts can motivate us, can boost our self-esteem, and give us the power to continue in the future with confidence, care, and compassion. 

Not all stories, or years, are happy stories.  Your 2017 story may be about all the obstacles you overcame, endured or survived through.  Some stories are filled with grief, pain, sorrow, and extreme heartache. Maybe just being able to survive the year was the biggest accomplishment for you.  Unfortunately for some, just getting through the days, even the moments were an accomplishment.  I am often in awe of those who suffer great tragedy and still find the ways to go forward.   Those stories matter, they also need to be heard, to be felt, to be told.  Those stories are reminders to all of us on how fragile life is, how in an instant your life can change dramatically and tragedy or how deep sadness can be felt in the heart, body and mind.  No, not all stories read like fairytales with happy ever-after’s.  But when I hear these heartbreaking stories I gain something.  I gain the knowledge of how much strength, determination, and will power people have.  I don’t know if I could handle some of the tragedies I hear and all with such dignity, grace, and love.  These stories change me too, they make me a better person, a kinder person, a more loving person. 

I guess what I am saying is all stories are meaningful, all are worthy of telling, sharing and most importantly, reflecting on. We all have a story to tell, a story to be heard.  Let’s find ways to keep track of our events during this new year.  We can do this with journaling or any other means suitable to you.  And at the years end review your story, share your story, find meaning, understanding, compassion, strength and wisdom from your story.   Your story may help others, it may connect you to their pain, it may encourage someone, or like my friend did with her story, bring a smile to someone’s face.

Many thanks to all who have shared their stories with me, the good and the not so good.  I felt honored that you allowed me to step into your world to see your pain and your joys.  Thank you for sharing some very difficult experiences but also seeing the roads of peace, healing, strength and recovery.

So…. what did your 2017 story say?