What a New Year Doesn’t MeanDec 31, 2021
No one warned me about New Year’s Eve. In my first year of profound grief, I just assumed that Thanksgiving and Christmas would be difficult (and indeed, they were). As for New Year’s Eve, I didn’t see it coming. I had no idea that it could pack a punch.
But looking closer, it wasn’t technically the 12/31 date on the calendar that was causing unexpected, unprecedented pain. It was my thoughts about the date on the calendar. It was what I was making that date mean. For me, it sounded like this:
If I step into a New Year, I’m letting him go.
A New Year means that I have to "move on."
A New Year means that I’m going to forget.
I don’t want to do a New Year without him.
Thoughts like these piled huge heaps of suffering on top of already intense pain. It was many years later that I learned that
- Not all of my thoughts are true.
- I can (and should) question my thoughts.
- Not all of my thoughts serve me.
- My thoughts are always 100% optional.
I personally believe that I will be reunited with my husband one day, when my time on earth is over. This belief is available to anyone, regardless of religion.
Given this belief, when my brain offers me those old familiar thoughts about the passing of time, I simply choose to think instead that I’m one day closer, one month closer, one year closer. I believe that I’ve said my one and only goodbye for now and am one step closer to that forever hello.
That is a thought that I personally believe. It makes me feel stronger and closer. It reminds me that this is all temporary. It serves me.
That’s the thing about thoughts: they should be true, and they should serve us.
When I look closely at my first New Year’s Eve thoughts, I now realize that they were neither true nor helpful. Eventually I was willing to explore other thoughts that are true for me, but don’t cause me extra suffering:
“If I step into a New Year, I’m letting him go” became No matter the year, I never have to let him go.
“A New Year means that I have to ‘move on.’” became No matter the year, I will never “move on,” only step forward.
“A New Year means that I’m going to forget” became I can never forget the things that are most important.
“I don’t want to do a New Year without him” became I never do any day without him because he’s always with me.
I hope you will try on new thoughts that serve you, especially as you face this new year.
If the new year is daunting and you can’t seem to shake the suffering, my coaching program called Life Reconstructed can help. If you’re ready to invest in a solution unlike anything you’ve ever tried, simply apply here and we’ll see if it’s a fit.
Learn more about Life Reconstructed.
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