Reviewing life at the end of the year, between Christmas and New Year is an ideal time for me to think about what happened this past year. It is easy to get bogged down in the crumby stuff, the conversations that turned ugly, fears that got the upper hand, and generally a beat-myself-up session can ensue. I learned with depression that looking at my life with dark glasses can turn everything dark. Overwhelming events can color all the rest of the year. Imagine pouring dirty motor oil all over yourself and you can visualize how I feel about my life sometimes. Fortunately, I had an excellent counselor that taught me to change my perspective. (A few tips on my other blog: http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2014/12/yearly-review.html)
One skill I learned to draw a line down the middle of the page vertically. On one side write 5 unpleasant events, on the other side write 5 happy events. It is ok to struggle with one side or the other. You may want to do this in two sittings, one for each side.
Now for each event, write something learned from the experience.
Choose 2 or 3 of the events and write how you could have done it differently.
Now sit with how you feel about this.
You can start to see that reviewing the year can become a lengthy process.
One of the things that I work at accepting is many things will happen that I wish I could do differently. I am ultra aware of my screw ups. It is far more challenging to accept my successes. I was called Ding-a-ling, Lights are on but nobody’s Home, and other derogatory names until I started to define myself that way. Part of healing from PTSD is taking back my power and seeing that I am a good person and I have successes. I learned that I define what is a success. That is taking back my power. No longer letting somebody else define who I am.
Many of the things that I consider a success are not measurable. For example, choosing truth over comfortable lies is not measurable in a conventional manner. I am aware that in different situations I am continuing my truth campaign. The end of this year I more consistently choose truth than when I started my truth campaign.
How to I measure courage? I feel that I stepped out of my comfort zone several times this year in a way the I feel good about what I am doing. I tried riding roller-coasters for the first time in 20 years and found that I enjoy it….a lot. I am also trying to learn how to cook better meals. For anyone that knows me, cooking is a difficult area of my life. Trying new recipes takes courage. I am going this. Discovered some very yummy Christmas treats and an awesome recipe for Alfredo Sauce. Can I say I have this much courage? No, I can accept that the things I am choosing to do take courage for me to do them. I am doing new things that take courage.
I also accept that somethings didn’t change. I still struggle with sleeping at night. I am back in counseling. Things not changing does not mean I didn’t have a good year. I am accepting myself more and setting more reasonable challenges.
One way to review the year: http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2014/12/review-year.html