In the rush to the end of the year, it can be tempting to spend a lot of time looking forward:
- Forward to all the festivities
- Forward to a well-earned break
- Forward to the new year and a chance to kind of ‘start again.’
Yet there’s also value in looking back, too.
For sometimes in looking back and taking stock, you can more clearly see the paths you’ve travelled – and get a sense of who you’re becoming as you do.
So before you close the book on 2010, lets take a moment to consult your ‘therapist within’ and review some of those pages together – and see what lessons this year might have held for you.
(You may find it helpful to write some of your responses down, to really capture any themes that arise for you).
So what have been the hard times for you this year?
When were you really challenged?
When did loss or grief or fear or rage turn up in your life?
Just take a moment to reflect and recall those times. Feel them.
And what’s helped you to get through them?
How did you help shift things? Or accept them?
Which values sustained you or pointed a way out?
How did you keep yourself afloat?
Which relationships nourished you through the tough times?
(And would you count the relationship you have with yourself among them?)
And if the hard times are still with you right now, what actually helps you keep going, day by day?
What gets you up in the morning?
How did you learn the kind of resilience you need to do that?
Who inspired you this year? Think back.
Was there someone (or maybe a few people) who really made an impact on how you see the world?
What is it that they bring?
Which qualities about them really shine for you?
(And how might you light that light within?)
And, again, think back…
When did you feel strongest this year?
When did you feel most comfortable in your own skin?
Content. Alive. Vibrant. Whole.
And what surrounded all of that?
Which circumstances or relationships or ways of being supported you to flourish like this?
Which values or ideals might underpin all of it?
And now, look back at your list – all the things you’ve just remembered and noted from the previous year.
All the qualities you’ve learned or strengthened or been inspired by this year.
All these lessons…
Which of them feel important to take with you, into the year to come?
Which would you like to write on future pages, too?
Which themes would you like to carry over, perhaps even further than 2011, maybe resonating through the whole library of your life?
And, finally, what’s it like to remember and consolidate these learnings from your own life?
To consult the unique wisdom you’ve gained through your experiences.
To read from your own inner book of life lessons…
Photo: Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar
Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar (Grad Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy) is a writer, blogger and Sydney psychotherapist in private practice at One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy. Gabrielle also co-facilitates telephone support groups for people who are living with cancer, for their carers, and for people who have been bereaved through a cancer experience. She is the editor of a journal on counselling and psychotherapy and she provides regular therapeutic updates on facebook and Twitter @OneLifeTherapy.