Every year for the past few years, around New Year’s, I have gone back through my iPhone photos, pulled the best, and made a collection to document our year.
This is a really great way to photojournal how our past year went and a fun reminder of all that transpired.
This year I began looking through the photos, just to begin to choose the best ones. When I scrolled back through the beginning of last year and then all the way through September, I began to shake and feel anxious, to my surprise. I was seeing the photos but remembering the feelings, instantly recognizing the smile I pasted onto my face as an empty one.
I realized that I could look back on this year as a bad one, but lately that has not been my style. I had a legal battle with my ex that was so incredibly stressful and difficult, but in the end I ended up getting what I deserved and the kids so deserve. I fought a major, major battle with depression this summer that almost killed me. My relationships were strained in the process as I struggled to hold on to those that I love most.
But all of that hardship, just as it always has, brought me to a deeper understanding of so many things. I feel for the first time like I am really beginning to understand happiness and higher living. As I searched for a natural and homeopathic cure for my depression and anxiety, I found answers right under my nose.
I realized how little I actually need to be happy.
I realized that gratitude is the answer to just about every problem that surfaces in my life.
I realized that there is so much power in my thoughts that I need to control the way I think.
I realized just how in control I am of my thoughts.
I realized that life is really not supposed to be stressful and packed with things and activities and commitments.
I realized that simple is better.
I realized how much judging others hurts ME.
I realized how little all the “stuff” of our head actually matters in the end.
I fell in love with the outdoors again.
I fell in love with laughter again.
I learned to say thank you for every good thing.
I learned how to inspire myself.
I realized that the only moment I have is right now, and worrying about the future or the past is a waste of emotion.
I learned to avoid drama by reacting from a place of peace.
I decided that I would live every day exactly the way I want to live it, no chasing of dreams or putting anything off…I find happiness daily and love to wake up in the mornings and experience it.
So maybe this wasn’t the rosiest of years but it was necessary for my growth. I feel fully in control of my life now, I feel happy and am certain that no matter what life throws at me, I’ll be just fine.
I’m the luckiest girl in the world, actually.