In modern times, New Year’s resolutions are goals for the coming year.
However, the New Year tradition dates back over 4,000 years, and was actually about reflecting on the prior year. Put simply, it was about looking back, as opposed to looking forward, and using that momentum to improve.
There’s a lot of empowerment in using the New Year to look back. After all, through the good times and the tough times of the past year, we made it!
It’s via this enlightened lens that New Year’s serves as an especially poignant annual milestone for those of us living with disability, illness or any adversity. We made it!
For those among us who made it through our first year of adversity, it’s a wonderful time to look back on the strengths and wisdom gained – maybe some we didn’t fathom we had until we drew it from deep within. Those among us who have faced years or a lifetime of adversity know it’s a fitting time to look back and remind ourselves how far we’ve traveled on this journey. For all of us, it’s an opportunity to realize that we made it with courage and tenacity through the year, and that, in itself, is something to celebrate.
Hardships are easy to look back upon, but the scars earned can be tough to appreciate. The fact is, no one chooses adversity. However, when adversity finds us, and we move through it, the scars become records of strength and courage – and that recognition is life-affirming.
We owe it to ourselves – and New Years is the perfect time – to look at all life has thrown our way, and say, “I made it, and I’m stronger because of it!”
Within all adversity resides opportunity, and nothing marks opportunity like the New Year. Let us all use what we’ve experienced as wind in our sails, moving with increased strength and wisdom into the New Year.
None of us can predict what the New Year will bring; but, we’ve already proven that whatever it is, we can handle it.
As author, Sarah Ban Breathnach, put it, “Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself….”