Today was the day. Today wasn’t marked on my calendar. I didn’t plan for it, I didn’t have a special place picked out to go and meditate, it just hit me out of nowhere. All my thoughts, memories and emotions from all my life events that occurred over the past 365 days came pouring out of me.
I often meditate, and in that mediation I do one of two things: I either clear my mind to be able to focus on one specific thought, or I completely clear my mind and let nothing in.
The first I use occasionally to help my find my focus. It helps me center myself and allows me to concentrate on just one thing in my life. It can be an event, object, goal, passion or even a person.
The second I use occasionally to give my mind a break.
My mind is constantly moving. It never stops wandering. I’m a deep thinker. Occasionally to my own detriment. Sometimes thoughts gets so jumbled up with different people, emotions and life experiences that it can shut me down at times.
However today was different. Today was the day I stopped suddenly in my tracks and thought about my life’s journey over the past year.
This date on the calendar has no significant meaning to me or has any connection to a life event of mine or anyone I know personally. However today it became a day of recollection of where I was a year ago to where I am at today.
I don’t do it often but on rare occasions I like to take a look back at a year that has gone by. I ask myself simple question such as, “Am I happier now than I was on this day a year ago? Am I surprised by events that unfolded? Have I accomplished the things I hoped to have accomplished? What do I regret? What am I proud of? What has happened that I will never forget; good or bad?”
These are many of the questions that run through my mind on this day. The answer however, are not so simple or straight forward.
I feel it is important that we take a moment every now and then to look back on our lives and measure the progress we have made. It is also a good time to remember the pleasant moments that we know will stick with us forever. It is also a time to reflect on what lessons we learned.
We never stop growing. Everyday we are in a position to learn something new, but we do not always appreciate the lessons learned,the experiences and connections made that day until some time has passed.
Life moves fast. I’ll side-step the obvious “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” quote, but there is a lot of truth to it. We need days like this, however frequent or infrequent to evaluate our own growth; to evaluate how far we have come mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Moving forward in life does not mean we need to push aside everything from our past. We don’t need to always let go of everything. There are places inside of us where we can hang on to the past and past experiences that once made us happy and honor them.
Yet we still move forward. We have to. If our past crosses our present then we better understand it if we have had time to reflect upon it.
Reflection is all about self-discovery and a measurement of our own internal growth. As we grow, and as we reflect, we should do so in a manner that pays honor and shows respect to the journey we have made over a period of time and the people along the way who opened themselves up to us to helped us learn and helped us grow.
It can be an emotional day, as it was for me, because of the many ups and downs that have occurred. I could not have predicted a year ago that I would be where I am emotionally and spiritually.
Yet I am here. My emotions flooded as thoughts came rushing back to me all at once. Afterwards, my soul felt cleansed. I felt a sort of peace that I have not felt in a while.
It was, and is a tough day when this happens, but the benefits outweigh the experience of this day. I feel more centered and I have a greater appreciation, understanding and respect for myself, my past and the path forward I am currently on.
Without this reflection day, I may not have the emotional and spiritual security that I do now. I may have just continued to settle with going through the motions of everyday life. But I want more. I yearn for more. Having these sudden and unexpected moments of reflection help me move forward while respecting the journey it took to get here.
Tomorrow I will begin anew. Tomorrow I will begin to create a new path; one in which perhaps a year from now I will look back and have the same awakening. I am awake, I am present, and I look forward to a continued honoring of past events, life experiences, life lessons and the connections I made with certain people as I begin to forge a new path; a path towards the unknown.
Author: Adam Wilkinson