By Dr. T
‘Tis the season when we all begin to reflect on the year that we just finished up, thinking about all the things we did or didn’t do, the people we lost or disappointed, the things that once seemed possible until they no longer were, and we lose ourselves in the depths of despair, disappointment or regret. It is hard for some of us to move on to the possibilities of a brand New Year because we are stuck or, even, exhausted from what last year took us through! Sometimes we get so lost in the forest we forget to look at the trees. There is more than enough sorrow and tragedy in the world to overwhelm us all and often very few answers as to why. Why? Perhaps rather than dwell on questions for which there are few answers, we should ask ourselves, what? What can we learn from our life’s experiences whether tragic, challenging or overwhelming?
New Year’s resolutions seldom yield the desired outcomes we so fervently make commitments to achieve. We usually fall short of the benchmarks we set for ourselves and then no matter how earnestly we profess our adherence to the goals we set and a desire to see them through to a most glorious conclusion, it usually takes but a few weeks to completely fall short or utterly fail. Unfortunately, very few New Year’s resolutions see their way through to a successful conclusion. Rather than whipping ourselves up into a froth of false expectations and unrealistic goals or outcomes, we should look to the lessons learned in the year gone by, the disappointments and even the tremendous losses that we may have suffered and see what we can take away from each one of them to use for the benefit of ourselves or others. What can we do with our life’s experiences that will illuminate the path of our purpose for being here on this earth? We all have a path to walk in life and sometimes our disappointments can give us insight into the “What” we are supposed to be doing with that difficult experience or challenge rather than the “Why” did it happen to me? When we are struggling and cannot seem to get ourselves back up from being knocked down, disappointed or defeated, we need to change our perspective on how we are looking at the situation. There’s a BIG difference between falling down with your face in the dirt and staying down there in the dirt with everything blacked out, as compared to falling down and turning over so you can at least look up and see the light. It’s not in any way denying the defeat or disappointment, but it is a matter of changing your perspective about it. —Turning your reflection outward more than inward.
What has passed cannot be relived, but it can be used to inform our present and empower our future. I do believe for everything there is a season and purpose for everything under heaven. What are you supposed to be doing with your life and those life’s experiences that have uniquely and specifically challenged you or changed you? What can be gained from where you have been even in the past year to help you navigate this next one? Or even help someone else to walk out a similar challenge, frustration or defeat in his or her own life? What you have been through is not serendipitous, but rather specifically designed to enhance and empower your life and the lives of the people with whom your life intersects. Rather than why, ask what and then how…how can I use my life for my GOOD and in the service of others? Then you will know what your life is for and why…you are here on this earth.