Going into 2023 I had a very strong sense, of ‘this is my year’ I could feel something big was coming and amazing things were going to happen. 2023 did not disappoint, what it delivered, was one heck of a journey that was received with gratitude. There were many highs and lows as I journeyed through a year that was full of both new experiences and some old tired ones too. I experienced laughter, joy, and love with some of the most beautiful connections. I also experienced fear, grief, and tears that broke me down and brought me to my knees and lead me back up again experiencing profound breakthroughs. Something big shifted, it seemed like it was all at once, however in reality it was a little at time. It wasn’t that life got easier; it was that my response to what life was bringing to me changed. It changed in how I saw it, received it, and responded. Every day wasn’t a good day, there was however, something good in every day, which I experienced through finding a daily moment of gratitude. 2023 was the year of deep exploration and surrender. As we move into 2024 reflection is important as this is where I view the big picture and receive some of my greatest teachings and learnings that I happily share with you.
I have come to experience that life is like an ocean; we are always just riding a different wave. Some waves are small, some big, some are soft, some rough and sometimes there are no waves at all. Although we may hope for great weather, what we may experience instead is one heck of a storm. No matter the size of the wave everyday brings a different experience, the waves we were rocking yesterday may seem like the same waves we can’t catch our footing on today. If you find yourself sitting and waiting for the next wave, remember surfers only appear like they are waiting. What they are doing is experiencing each moment as it comes, being fully supported while they drift and go with the flow of the ocean. When a surfer goes out, they do not place their trust in the ocean, the ocean is unpredictable, a surfer places their trust in a higher power to carry them.
Another lesson learned in 2023 is what practicing forgiveness can look like. Contrary to the thought that inner peace happens when we forgive others. I have learned through my experiences that forgiveness is always an inside job, rarely is it about the other person. When I truly started to understand this teaching, I began to look deeper into myself and see the parts of me that I judged or perhaps hadn’t fully accepted yet. The idea of practicing self-forgiveness may seem difficult to understand at first, once you see it though you can’t unsee it.
I did initially wonder how I am supposed to forgive myself for the things I did not create, such as the sexual trauma or physical abuse I suffered.
I’m pausing here as I write this, because I just caught myself in my wording of ‘suffered’ and wording is powerful, our mind believes what we tell it. I left this part in to explain my thoughts a bit, as I have done a lot of work transitioning out of ‘being a victim’ and still, I catch myself in my wording. healing is progress not perfection. When my view is still in ‘suffering’, I bring in the version of myself that was a victim and the one thing I didn’t believe I had as a victim was choice. Choice in my circumstances and choice in my suffering, moving out of victimhood gifted me this. I share this because of the stigma I felt around victim mentality.
What practicing forgiveness looks like for me is, forgiving myself for staying in the victim roll longer than I needed to, forgiving myself for the years of my life and inner peace I unknowingly gave away to the experience. Ultimately and most importantly forgiveness for judging myself for my response to the experience, the length of my healing and my journey through it. I also believe there is not a destination in healing, just a reroute back to self.
I will leave you with one of my favorite Hawaiian prayers that can be used for just about anything. It has helped bring peace within me, it is the ho’oponopnono prayer. As I process and move through my reactions to life experiences, I often close my eyes and say to myself.
please forgive me,
I love you.’
Forgiveness doesn’t mean one has to be around people who have caused harm or effects one’s inner peace, especially if you are actively processing or practicing forgiveness. It’s a process, and while you are figuring things out, it’s okay to be honest and say I’m not ready to be around you right now or I need time. I share the importance of protecting your energy while you heal and reminding you that we are always exactly where we are supposed to be. In reflection 2023 was one heck of a journey, and it was received with gratitude. The saying, ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears.’ I have found to be fitting for my year in review. I am excited to start a new chapter in 2024 and share it with you, perhaps there are messages that will guide you on your journey.
With love and many blessings,