Well then, let's get started. What have I learned? What inspired, amazing insights have I garnered during this chaotic, heartbreaking and hopeful mini life lived in 2014?
I learned about pain and frustration.
Over this past year, I've learned that no matter how hard you love someone, you can not walk their path or lessen the pain they will feel while they walk it. This is a hard lesson learned by families with loved one's facing addiction, parents who have adult children who are struggling, and grandparents having to witness their grandchildren caught up in a life less than ideal. Not one of us ever wishes to see a loved one in physical or emotional pain. Yet it is an issue that shows up again and again. What I have learned is that we can continue to support while standing back and taking care of ourselves as well. We can choose to bar the toxicity and drama from entering our home, yet still keep the door open for communication, new beginnings and starting over.
I learned about growing respect, trust and love.
This was my second year (this time around) spent with the man that is my best friend and soul mate. As the days continue to pass, my love, admiration and passion for this man continues to grow. I appreciate him every day as he appreciates me. Yet we do struggle, we sometimes give in to fear and anger...but we always emerge stronger and closer then before. Communication is key, and learning the art of communication has saved us many times from throwing in the towel. We have also activated each other in the ways of empathy, patience and understanding, and for that I am eternally grateful. And last but certainly NOT least, I like myself when I'm with him...and I laugh. Everyday. I laugh. And love.
I learned about grief and loss, all over again.
I learned the well of grief can be endless, like the river of tears I cried this past holiday season. My mother, the last of my immediate clan, passed away April 12th of 2014, making this my first Christmas without her. It was painful and difficult, and I am only now starting to reach out and begin my healing process once again. In a sense, I am now truly an orphan. My heart cries and bleeds for all of the other orphans out there, those who have lost family members and feel the lonely, bittersweet nostalgia that plagues us all during the holidays. You are not alone, I promise. Even when you cry your silent tears in the cover of darkness, you are not alone. Many of us cry with you.
This was a year of love and laughter, loss and tears, disappointment and miracles. What an amazing journey I have been given the privilege to embark upon, and as long as I am able I will continue to travel toward that beautiful sunrise of personal evolution.
Let's raise our glasses and toast...to new beginnings, the re-invention of self and a blessed and balanced coming new year...