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Mysteries of the New Year

photo of man fishing, Raleigh Psychotherapy, counseling, Change, Katherine Broadway

I teeter on the brink of endings:

some anticipated, some resisted,

some inevitable, some surprising,

Most painful;

and the mystery of them quiets me to awe.

Guerrillas of Grace by Ted Loder

We are living a moment in time that comes only once every ten years. On January first, we put not only a year, but also an entire decade, behind us. Whether we notice it or not, we feel it in our psyches, in our bodies, in the energy of life. It is a time of reflection and change.

Over the holidays, I heard Rabbi Stephanie Kolin speak about endings, beginnings, and facing change in the new decade. It’s something all of us should consider. Will we join the world as it moves forward or will we stay in denial and try to remain where we are? We may consciously choose not to pay attention to what is happening around us; however, we must also be aware that we will feel an impact regardless of what we choose.

We Stand on the Cusp of Change, Will We Consciously Choose to Participate?

In order to move forward, we need to know where we are. We need to evaluate where we are, where we have been and where we want to go. This takes time, and can be done throughout the year. You can consider these questions while on a quiet walk, during meditation time or over days. It is important that you do this in a way that is not overwhelming and has meaning for you.

Here are a few questions that Rabbi Kolin suggested to guide your thought process:

  • Where were you 10 years ago, where have you been, what have you accomplished?

  • What have you left behind?

  • Where are you going?

  • What do you need?

  • What is the bridge you need to move forward?

  • What are you leaving willingly, what are you leaving unwillingly?

Honor Your Life by Letting Go

We’ve all felt that moment of overwhelm when you simply can’t process another thing without breaking down physically, mentally or emotionally. In order to take on the next year and the next decade, we need to move past that moment and let go of the old decade so we can create space in our hearts for what is to come.

Letting go does not mean forgetting your past. It means processing what has happened and how it has created the person you are now, thus making space for new experiences. It means acknowledging both joy and pain and the lessons they taught you. Pain must be faced, but it is transitory and can be a great teacher. Joy can be found in the smallest of moments or the greatest of accomplishments, and each one changes the way we see the world. Knowledge gained from our past helps us shape our futures.

In that context, letting go means honoring what you’ve learned, and if those lessons are complete, making the choice to move forward rather than dwell on moments already lived. That choice clears the slate, making time to reclaiming emotional energy that can be used to approach something new.

With the new year and decade come uncertainty. We stand on the border of the light, facing the unknown that is before us. In that unknown sits our futures, our dreams, our wishes and desires. It is overflowing with possibilities. Shall we be drawn back into the old ways and patterns? Or will this be the moment you start the exciting, terrifying journey to the other side?

You Are Not Alone

Such a monumental journey does not have to be undertaken alone. History and legend alike are filled with tales of mentors and their proteges. At first impression, we often think of those stories as the passing of wisdom in one direction – from teacher to student. However, lessons often travel the other way as well: the teacher also learns from the student, and both gain a companion on their respective journeys.

As a therapist, I learn from the individuals who come to me for help. We take a journey together into both our individual and our joint futures. I lend them strength when they need it; they lend me wisdom and direction when I need it. Together we learn and grow.

Who are the companions you need on your journey into this new year? What qualities do you have to go forward, and what do you need to develop? What can you offer those who are with you?

New Year’s is not just a day. It is a time and a process. It is the doorway into a new beginning. Do you need a companion to help you face this new decade with its challenges and new growth? Call me, I can help. (919)881-2001.

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