This time of year, along with the shopping and hectic pace that are hallmarks of the holiday season, more than a handful of well-meaning folks implore us to "remember the reason for the season," or "take a step back and treasure what truly matters." (As an editor and avid reader myself, I've seen a hundred articles with this theme come across my desk and grace the pages of many publications over the years.)
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying these little nuggets of wisdom are necessarily "bad" or something we shouldn't pay attention to. But what is sad is how we have to constantly be reminded to consider the wellbeing of others, or to not take good health for granted, or to be grateful for what we have instead of wanting things we don't.
Unfortunately, we are fallible human beings who will always make mistakes. The "trick" to this life is learning from those mistakes and then doing better as we move forward. For many, a serious illness or loss — whether in the form of a job, a relationship or a hope dashed — serves as a powerful wakeup call to realize what's truly important in life. In those instances, a loss is actually a gift. This is something that contributing writer Nancy Freier says in her Inner Voice column this month.
She makes many valuable points throughout the piece, but this particular thought struck a nerve with me: "Regardless of what you're facing, pay attention to the clues being presented and see the bigger picture. Life is seeking to assist us in our soul's growth, and many times a loss is just what is needed to get us on the path toward our highest good."
2012 will be here before you know it. If I were inclined to make a resolution, I'd take a cue from Nancy. I'd resolve to see each day as an opportunity; to acknowledge that I am far from perfect but will strive to be better; to appreciate what I have, but learn from what I have lost. I can already feel myself moving toward my greater good...Have a happy, and healthy, New Year!