Jan 9, 2020
One thing that we can’t change is the past. Perhaps this is why we look expectantly toward the start of the bright new year. It’s the opportunity to begin anew, to right our wrongs, to follow the practices we know are needed to put us on the right track.
Unfortunately, in setting our intentions for the year, we often fail to close out the past. Onward we go carrying our baggage – all neatly packed up on life’s continuing journey.
While the past is in fact finished, it is possible we may be holding on so tightly to old hurts and resentments that we have become ineffective in our present circumstances.
When we fail to let go of a regret or a disappointing personal interaction, we compromise our freedom to be our best selves in the present. We remain encumbered by prior events.
The past is the past, but we can transform our relationship to it. When we are no longer reacting to the past or anything in the present that reminds us of it, we can be said to be complete with it. It’s not only over and done, but we are free from its grip.
To begin the year with vivre, reliance and yes, peace, follow this 5-step framework for completion. Jot down a few bullet points in response to each of the questions below.
Step 1. Take a walk through your calendar and reflect on what happened during the year.
Step 2. Identify any areas that were painful or negative that need to be addressed
The act of simply writing down a hurt or disappointment may be enough to let it go. Circle any others that may require a personal conversation or a specific action for resolution. This may be a conversation or a note of forgiveness. Put a date to it and then take the action.
Step 3. Reflect on what you learned
Lessons learned fuel our growth and give us the “edge” to be all that we can be
Step 4. Appreciate and Acknowledge
Appreciation comes from the Latin word “to add value.” When we appreciate a person – or even ourselves, we acknowledge the value that they have brought.
Step 5. Reflection and Completion
Completion describes how you will view the past. Being complete does not imply that you agree with something that happened in the past. It simply means that you have made the choice to let it go. You will be complete, when you can see the past for what it was and what it wasn’t.
You are now ready to move onward.
By declaring yourself complete, you’ll create the space for breakout and find the freedom to write a new chapter. This is the surest way to discover who you yet might become. In doing, so you’ll start your year with creativity, energy and all the brilliant possibility that the new year can bring.