One of my favorite yoga teachers and best friends has a blog on her business website for Evergreen Yoga. Today, she posted a love letter to release 2014. She challenged her readers to do a similar thing, and I think it’s a great idea. I’m sitting here right now with Ashok listening to fireworks all over the city, although they are illegal here. I made a big pot of Amish Hearty Soup for dinner with hot french rolls and grass-fed butter. I am still percolating over the topic at my 12-step meeting tonight, and I feel tired but not exhausted from my trip this last week. There was no doubt in my mind that I would spend New Years’ Eve at home alone. I can’t even remember the last time I went out on New Years’. If I”m honest, I kind of miss it this year for some reason. My friend Alayne said she was going out dancing, and it sounded like so much fun. But, I don’t have the choice, and, like I said this morning, I’m trying to enjoy what is in front of me.
So, Leah suggests the letter answer the following questions:
- What am I most proud of this year?
- What am I going to forgive this year? Forgive myself for? Forgive life for?
- What am I letting go of? What did I already let go of in 2014? Want to let go of but are not ready yet?
- What action can I take to close the door on 2014?
So here goes:
It is New Year’s Eve, and I look back on you with mixed emotions. I remember being really depressed at your inception last year, and I had to work really hard to assure myself that this year would be a bit easier. Unfortunately, you have been a very hard bull to ride, and I can honestly say that I’d like to say good-bye with a flourish. I hope 2015 is kinder and gentler to me.
That being said, I am very proud of myself for some huge steps I took in 2014. I finally started to deal with my anxiety issues in a big way. I took steps to eliminate stimulants, add meditation and yoga back into my life and continue to eat right and exercise. It was not a fun journey, but I stuck with it – especially in those difficult 3 weeks withdrawing from caffeine – and I’m better for it. I’m also proud of myself to identifying that I needed to buckle down and pay off some debt. I had to give up some very important items for many months, but I showed myself that my financial well-being was important enough to stick with some hard decisions. Speaking of decisions, I also had to make some key decisions around work, and I worked really hard to make some changes in my professional life. The changes have not been made, but the exploration is underway, and I’m proud of myself for choosing to explore options instead of making a snap decision. This was a difficult year for me in many ways, but I can say that I grew a LOT. You gave me the lessons, but I am proud of myself for doing the work.
I didn’t do everything well, and I want to forgive myself for some of those missteps. I want to forgive myself for pushing myself too hard at times to find a solution to my professional dilemma. I forgot that God is in charge of this area of my life, too, and I got panicked about what I needed to do. My panic caused me a great deal of pain, and I was more irritable with friends and co-workers than I needed to be. I’m turning the corner on that, so I’ll make my amends by being better in the future. I am not perfect, and I was – and am – very scared. I want to forgive myself for not being perfect.
I want to forgive life for the series of events this year that have caused my anxiety to escalate. Events in my history converged with 2014’s events to disturb my sleep, make me irritable and discontent and began to affect my health. Life, I know in better days that your events are meaningless. It’s my reaction to them that causes me problems. But, my reactions are much more difficult to control when I have this tendency toward anxiety. I forgive you for all of the events that gave me that condition and for the ones this year that exacerbated my condition. I also forgive you for the damn weather down here. Well… actually … maybe I’ll work on that one for next year.
In your midst, I was able to let go of two of my remaining addictions – sugar and caffeine – in one of the most stressful years of the last 5 or so. And now, at the end of your reign, I am in the process of letting go of my career path. I can’t control what is going to happen with that. I can only take the next right step. I’m letting go of my worry about the future and trusting that 2015 will move me along my path in a positive direction. This won’t be easy as the aforementioned anxiety will cramp my style. I wish I could let go of the anxiety. But anxiety will need to let go of me. All I can do is make my body a less desirable place to live with faith, self-care and support. I let go of the outcome. Anxiety … best of luck to you.
I’m going to take an Epsom salt bath to wash 2014 off my body and prepare myself for the new year. I’ll light a candle and let the gentle light burn away the old year’s residue and create space for its replacement. I will not greet 2015 nor will I watch 2014 leave. I will go to bed and let my subconscious guide me into the new year. When I awake, you will be gone, 2014. I am grateful for your coming, and I am grateful for your going. And I think that’s exactly the way it should be.
Happy New Year, 2015! Bring it on….
With much gratitude and respect to the departing year,