2015: Gifts Wrapped in Barbed Wire


I have never been this ready for a year to come to a close.  I know January 1st is just another day but this time it seems much more.

A few days ago I was meeting with an author friend of mine.  We were discussing what a challenging year it had been for me, for her and for so many other people we know – divorces, death of loved ones, major health issues.  I had purchased a copy of her book and, as we were chatting, I asked her to sign it.  She did, smiled and handed it back to me.  Inside the front cover she had written, “To Cylvia, You’ve had the worst year of all.  Congrats!”  We both laughed.

I think it’s safe to say that when your own personal public shaming winds up in multiple media sources as one of the Top Stories of 2015, it’s been a challenging year!  So yes, I am ready for a new year, but I don’t mean that I just want to put 2015 behind me and forget it.  I mean I am ready for what’s coming next.  This past year has been one of the hardest, but also one of the richest, periods in my life.  The pain was intense but the growth is intensely exciting.  It was a year of gifts wrapped in barbwire.

One year ago, for the first time in my adult life, I did not set any New Year’s goals.  My life seemed too shattered and uncertain to think about goals; I was just trying to survive each day.

I feel very grateful now, one year later, to find myself setting goals again.  I recognize that life is still uncertain but I am much more comfortable with that now.  Some of the complications that exploded in 2015 are still unresolved but I am making resolutions nonetheless.  However, there is a difference.  I cannot deny that I have been altered by the experiences of 2015 and I feel those changes reflected in the nature of the goals I find myself setting.  I’m still setting more typical of me goals for my business and my writing and my physical fitness but I also find myself adding intentions such as:

  • Forgive.
  • Be present with each person I meet and sincerely desire the best for them.
  • Drop my competitiveness and realize there is enough good and success for everyone.
  • Prioritize spiritual work even as my professional work picks up momentum. 

In 2015 I lost my old life and much of my old identity.  In that agonizing loss I found deeper aspects of my Self.  I found a new, more peaceful way of being.  I found my true voice.  And now as I look forward to a brand new baby year I am asking what song is wanting to sing through me?  I take a deep breath, open my mouth and sing “Hello and Hallelujah” to new beginnings.  

By Cylvia Hayes

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