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  • Writer's pictureAngela Smith

Reflection and gratitude: An invitation at the end of the year

One more Christmas,The rest is getting smaller and smaller,

But if I sum it all up,

All the straight, all the crooked,

All wrong, all right,

All the good, all the bad

All the abundance adds up to a real life.

And being able to do this  probably is the best

At this Christmas celebration.

Theodor Fontane (1819 - 1898)

Once again, another year is coming to an end and we are awaiting the annual Christmas and end of year celebrations. While some are looking forward to spending time together with their loved ones, keeping up traditions and beloved habits, others fear the annual flaring up of deep-rooted conflicts, the opening of old wounds or even the feeling of loneliness.

In any case, it is a time to look back: to the traditions and customs of one's own childhood, experiences with family and other people who are close to us. What traditions or habits have I adopted myself? What have I deliberately not adopted, deleted or changed? What would I like to change? When we reflect on these issues, we learn a lot about our own values and ideas, about how we have developed individually or would like to develop ourselves further.

But above all, this time of the year invites us to review the past year and take stock. For this the following questions may be helpful:

  • With what expectations, wishes and goals did I start the year?

  • What could I fulfill for myself?

  • What has fate, or even chance, given me?

  • What did I have to give up?

  • Which people have come into my life?

  • Which have moved away from me or perhaps even gone forever?

  • What new things did I get to learn and experience?

  • What has enriched my life?

If we manage to look back at the past year from a distance and not relive the experiences that hurt us, situations in which we ourselves may have hurt others, but accept them as part of our own history and develop gratitude for the things we have been given, we lay the foundations so that wounds may heal, we can let go of burdens and open ourselves to new things. However, if we have been hurt, it may also be necessary to consciously grieve and say goodbye to people, experiences or things. Rituals which each person can develop for themselves, can then help us to gradually release the pain inside and create a space for what may still be waiting for us in the future.

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