This last week of the year is a time that naturally seems to cause us to review the passing year with all of its high points and low points.
While it’s a helpful practice to pause and consider what has happened along our journey in this year that is ending to help us plan for the year that is about to start, I’ve noticed that it is very easy to look back over the last year through the lens of what we want to change in the coming year.
This creates a focus on our failures, our dissatisfactions, and our frustrations.
In other words, it focuses our attention on the broken places.
What is often overlooked are the ways those broken places have healed over the last year.
Healing is a slow process that is hard to measure and seldom follows a linear pathway. It’s much harder to distinguish a precise moment when an open wound becomes sufficiently healed so as to become a kintsugi scar.
And yet, for all the challenges of precisely identifying healing as it is happening, when we look back over a period as long as a year, we can more easily identify the ways in which that healing has indeed taken place.
Wounds that were once painful and reactive may have become healed scars that are no longer aggravated by every touch.
Broken hearts may have become whole again, no longer aching with every breath.
Shattered dreams may well have given way to new dreams that engage and excite us.
Taking the time to look back and find those threads of healing that have appeared over the last year, even if the healing is still a work in progress, can create the space to make sure we also find the gold in that healing.
Starting from a place of celebrating that healing and that gold makes it possible to approach the new year from a much more hopeful place that can allow us to step forward with our strengths and a focus on our growth and possibilities instead of on our broken places.
How much more empowering it is to make these positives a foundation for our new year instead of starting from a foundation of what we don't like about our current lives!
As you review the last year and begin looking toward the coming year, I challenge you to try out a similar focus for yourself. Ask yourself questions like:
How have I healed and grown in the last year?
What gifts of kintsugi gold have I gained in the last year through this healing?
What broken places in me need more love and compassionate tending to heal further?
How can the healing I’ve already experienced help me heal even more?
How can I make better use of the gifts that healing has brought to my life by "polishing" the gold they've already brought?
How do I use what I’ve gained from my own healing to better my life and the lives of those around me?
What do I love about my life that I’d like to have more of in the next year?
What gifts, strengths, and skills do I have that I would enjoy using more often?
What brings me joy? How can I create space for more of that?
Finding the gold in the healing that has happened does not mean that we need to be glad that the original brokenness happened or that it was good that we were wounded. We can value the healing while still reviling the damage that made it necessary.
Nevertheless, healing is always a gift of grace that we can treasure, no matter how much hard work we had to put into making space for that healing to happen. It’s worth taking the time to mine your year for that treasure so you can consciously make use of those gifts as you move forward.
I wish you many such gifts of grace as you review 2018, and may 2019 bring even more healing (and much less brokenness).
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