Wednesday, December 18, 2013
25 Questions to Ask Yourself Before 2014: Part Three
Life is a Sunset this week and taking part in a year-end inventory. You can get more information about this exercise and also check out Chelsea's and other bloggers' take on the questions via her blog here. I answered the first and second sets of questions here and here. Without further ado, I tackle perhaps the hardest set...
21. Who do I need to forgive? Forgiveness really is a hard art to master isn't it? Human beings are not perfect. We make mistakes often. We say things without thinking, we find it hard to put ourselves in someone else's shoes and we often hurt those who are closest to us. There are people who have hurt me in the past and I couldn't make sense of it. It took me awhile to realize the reasons why other people do things is really not my concern. Once I accepted that perhaps it really wasn't about me, but about them, it became easier to let them go. In addition to being hurt by others, I know I have also been the antagonist. I think the most difficult person of all to forgive is yourself. This is something I struggle with and am working on. I am trying to be as compassionate to myself as I am to others.
22. Where is it time to let go? I have let go of a lot this year. Finally letting go of a career direction that just wasn't working was the biggest one. I've also let go of some personal limiting beliefs, but there is still some work to be done there. I've let go of the need to know the outcome, or for certainty before taking action, because I know there is no such thing. There is definitely more discomfort in taking steps without knowing where they'll lead but letting go is so much better than hanging on to something that is no longer serving you, just because you are afraid to take the leap.
23. What old habits would I like to release? I want to become better at being present. I would say my thoughts for most of my life were focused on either rehashing/reliving the past, or were fueled by anxiety about what might happen in the future. It's only recently that I've been reading about mindfulness and I've really tried to just "be" in the here and now. Tomorrow is not promised, so why worry and why put your life off for a day that may never come? I spend a lot of time around kids, and you know what? They have mastered this skill without even trying. When you are a child, you don't worry about tomorrow. They live and play in the here and now. Their concept of time is much different than ours. I am looking to reclaim some of that gusto and wonder for the present moment, trusting that things will work out for the best along the way.
24. What new habits would I like to cultivate? I think the biggest one would be taking action. As I mentioned before, I am historically a staller. I take forever to make decisions but recently, I've become better at taking action even when I have no idea what the outcome will be. This has proven to be a successful tactic! I want to keep the momentum going and not revert back to my old ways, because there are so many more things I want to accomplish in 2014.
25. How can I be kind to myself? By forgiving myself for past 'mistakes' and knowing they brought me to where I am now. By staying positive, open, optimistic and peaceful with where I am and not comparing myself to others (this is hard!).
Well, wow. I thought yesterday's questions were tough but these take the cake. There is probably so much more I could have written for each one, but I need to limit this post to a respectable word count :)
As I reflect back on 2013, it was a year of big change for me and I've learned so much, but in many ways, it was just the start of many new things to come. I hope that I continue to carry the lessons and momentum I've gained into the new year because there is a lot more I want to do. 2013 was also probably one of the fastest years of my life. I still can't believe that we are days away from Christmas. Sometimes my old life seems like it was just yesterday, but then other times it feels miles away. Is this a sign that I'm getting old?! Don't answer that.
I hope you benefited from answering these questions if you decided to dig in and answer them. If you have any end-of-year exercises that you participate in, I'd love to hear about them. This is the first time I've ever sat down and put my thoughts about the past year to paper and I think it's something I will continue to do in some form or another going forward. Thanks to Chelsea for hosting this link up!