It’s December and we are in the midst of the holidays! Finding time for more obligations can be stressful. In these last days before the New Year, sometimes our thoughts turn to review the past. These memories, and their associated feelings, may be productive, although it is more beneficial to look ahead, to prepare to move forward with the hope of new and positive ways to embrace the future.
What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside you. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many of us make resolutions each year for new ways to improve; some of us accomplish these, and for some, plans may fizzle leaving us with the sense of having failed one more thing. Instead of thinking of what to do in the future, what about spending a little time going inward, reflecting on our inner being so we can improve our lives now and bolster ourselves for the future?
Many of us were raised with messages that tell us who we are, defined by others as how they saw us. As I reflect back as a child with those indications by others, I’ve come to realize it’s not how I see myself now. I’m not the child others may have seen. I’ve grown and developed into my own identity and that may be quite different than who I thought I was as a child, or at least, how I was seen through the eyes of others.
As my father teased the daydreaming child I was, I don’t think he meant to ignore my inner core of strength. It should also be noted here that adults who tease children may not mean harm. Children are like sponges, soaking in all they observe, and may take a thing to heart as an absolute truth. It was up to me to discover what lies beneath the surface of outer appearance. And, what I thought of as a deficiency may ultimately be viewed as a strength, after all.
The experiences we encounter along the way also shape us and sometimes take us to new places so our worldview may be altered. Part of the aging process, particularly in middle age, is learning to live in our own skin, and hopefully be less impacted by others as we learn over time what is true for us. Living authentically, learning to focus on our values, how we wish to spend our time, who we spend that time with, along with a deepening clarity in knowing ourselves can lend a sense of inner peace and tranquility. Let’s hope the new year can lead to a better quality of life while making clear choices about a life well lived. We are all unique. Maybe try to reflect on your unique identity this year and see if that helps with making decisions that resonate with your soul. I encourage you to find inner clarity for a life that is meaningful to you. May it bring you peace in knowing you are living a congruent life.
All shall be well. In time.