Reflecting on the past 12 months...

Image result for merry christmas and happy new yearWho would have thought that it would be mid-December already? Time has certainly gone by quickly. I love Christmas, as you all know. Why? Definitely the time with loved ones, music, food, decorations, lights, etc. add to the season. But there is something about Christmas that is truly special to me...remembering how blessings we have encountered during the past year.

As December draws to an end and January approaches, the new year begins. This is a time where I really like looking back and reflecting on the past year. What went well? What was challenging? What have I accomplished? What have I learned about myself, about others, and about life? What do I want to do differently in the next year? How have I grown as a person during these past 12 months?

Looking back at 2017, I can recall many challenges that I have faced. More responsibilities as a medical student, daughter, friend, sister, and human being have all come up. I have struggled to combat negative coping skills that have been comfortable - but not effective - ways of dealing with tribulations. I have been forced out of my comfort zone in many situations, and this has allowed me to learn - the hard way - to try to find new, healthier ways, of dealing with stress. 

Image result for merry christmas and happy new year 2018I have also discovered more about who I am and the kind of person I strive to be. This past year has given me the opportunity to reflect about my strengths and what I am most proud of. I have tried my best to appreciate myself as a sum of characteristics - including what I would like to improve, and what I am doing well. I have acknowledged that I am not perfect, and I don't want to be anymore. Being enough is enough for me. I am tired of trying to achieve a state of absolute perfectionism, as that has only led me to doubt myself and criticize my self-worth. Instead, this year has taught me to look at my struggles and be thankful. To be proud of how I have managed to cope with my obstacles, and to reflect on how my strengths have enabled me to persevere through the toughest of times. To understand that I am human and that I can make mistakes and have my faults. But that does not mean that I am not worthy, strong, or capable. It simply means I am a work in progress, as we all are.

2017 has marked a shift in my thinking about life and about myself. I have learned to treasure my health, relationships, and blessings much more. I have seen that when I am physically and mentally and emotionally well, I can truly contribute to the world. I have enjoyed the bliss of nourishing my mind, body, and soul. I have endured hardships that have taught me valuable lessons about counting my blessings everyday, and trying to be more present in the current moment. 

As 2017 draws to an end and 2018 approaches, I pray and hope that you too, can reflect on the past 12 months. That you can look back and realize that certainly there were difficult moments. But you made it through. And every experience shaped you into the individual you now are. That you have strengths and capabilities beyond what you imagined.
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I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I wish you all peace, love, blessings, and strength. Remember that every obstacle, every mistake, and every experience contributes to the person you are. Be thankful for the tough times, and for the good times. Acknowledge your strengths and blessings, and look forward to another wonderful year. I'll see you all here in 2018!

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