I think 2023 was the toughest of my 47 years on earth so far.
I cannot point to one exact reason why I say that. I experienced many challenges on a deeper, existential level. I (suddenly!) had these super deep questions about my life. Things like - am I truly living with meaning? What is my life really about? Am I doing enough to make a difference in this world? Yeah, stuff like that.
And yet, amid the turbulent times, there were a number of positive take-aways from this (still, ongoing) experience:
Maybe because I'm older, I realised I had the power to choose my response. When I was a younger man, a panic-reaction was the norm. This time, I took a step back - and a deep breath - and waited before I responded.
Not being reactive, and taking a step back, allowed me to gain perspective. Which meant, I now had objectivity to identify my patterns. I could view my anxious ego needs from a safe distance and see where I would normally fall into self-sabotaging patterns.
Then, I learned to trust the process. For me personally, my faith plays a central role in my life. I believe our spirituality is how we live in reaction to who we think God is. If my understanding of God changes, so does my life. For me (and I'm sure your journey is different), I had to let go of my own control and trust in the grace and love that I believe God holds for me. Man, that's not easy!
Told you. Deep things.
Whether your year was a little bit like mine, or not at all - I hope that the festive time we're about to enter will bring you moments of deep reflection and grace for your own journey.
And, may you be overwhelmed by a feeling gratitude and grounded-ness!
How was your year?