Sunday, January 1, 2012

This Could Be Your Best Year Ever!

Happy New Year! Never in my life have I been so excited to see a year end and a new one begin.

2011 was a very difficult year for me and my family. Those who follow this blog regularly have some idea. I've openly shared some details here. The real personal and heart breaking stuff, I've kept to myself. It hasn't been easy and the tough part certainly isn't over yet. It might even get worse before it gets better.

I also believe we are one step closer to happier days.

A friend of mine chose spend this New Year's Eve alone. I invited him to come along with me to an intimate gathering of a few close friends. He declined. I pushed the issue a few times but still he refused to move from his comfortable spot on the couch.

"I really don't care about the holidays and celebrating," he said. "New Years' just means the beginning of another crappy year for me."

"Well, it only be that way if you want it to be," I replied. "It's your choice if you want the new year to be crappy or not. It's all about attitude despite your circumstances. You have to leave all the bad stuff from last year behind and have faith to believe for better things!"

He mumbled a few choice words under his breath and asked me to stop with the "new age bullshit".

I could have kept going but I didn't. I left him alone with his bottle of Southern Comfort and I skipped off to sip champagne with my friends.

It's difficult to reason with a person in that frame of mind. I know his life is tough. Who's isn't? We all have stuff we would rather not deal with. It would be nice to trade a few of my struggles with someone else right now or turn back the clock to a happier time. That's just not possible. I have to deal with these cards life has handed me now and make the best of it. I can't sit around feeling sorry for myself or enter into the new year with a bad attitude. I would rather pull up my big girl pants, keep fighting, keep hoping, and look for the lessons along the way.

Cancer. Drug addiction. Car accidents. Unemployment. Debt. Theft. Alcoholism. Broken relationships. Death. These are just a few of the things that touched me and my loved ones last year. In just one year. It was as if we were being shot at with an automatic rifle.  It took every ounce of strength to keep dodging the bullets and patching up the wounds as quickly as possible. It was a difficult year. Make no mistake about it.

The one thing I refuse to do is carry all the negativity, sorrow, and pain of last year into my new year!

I certainly spent more time crying than laughing last year but in retrospect, I don't think I would change a thing. I've personally learned so much about myself and others. I've learned about life, love, hope, forgiveness. I learned about the strength of a tie that binds family and friends together. A bond that can never be broken. When things are just peachy, I tend to take all that stuff for granted. It's only when times get tough that I realize their true value.

I am getting together with family later for a New Year's Day dinner. My dad will build a fire in the fireplace and we all talk, laugh and play with the kids. After we stuff ourselves with good food and argue about politics and religion, I have a little exercise planned. I will be passing out paper and pens and I want everyone to write down the  things they don't want to carry into the new year. It can be anything: sickness, sorrow, pain, addiction, bad attitudes. Then each of us will toss those papers into the fire and watch them burn to ashes. They will be gone. Forgotten. Over. Done. Perhaps not physically. My dad will still have cancer but in his heart and mind he will be healed. And that is how he will find the strength to keep fighting. And that is how the rest of us will find the strength to fight right along with him. The same goes for everything else written down on our papers and tossed into the flames.

I challenge each of you to do this today. Take time to reflect on what you don't want to carry with you this year, write it down, and burn it. If you don't have a fireplace, toss your paper into bowl or an ashtray and light it on fire. Use an old coffee can to host the flames and watch your papers burn. Then forget it all. It won't be easy. They might creep up and haunt you. When they do, refuse to accept them. Remember that you burned them. They're gone. Forgotten. Over. Done.

You might think this is "new age bullshit" (like my friend) but I am going to say it any way:

If you believe this is going to be your best year ever, it will be. It really is your choice. You just need to have faith and decide not to take the pain, sorrow, bad attitudes, mistakes and failures of last year into your new year.

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year filled with peace, love and joy is meaningless, if you don't have the faith to believe it will be!

And this is my Daily Cyn........

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