Dear Friends, from the news and comments of others, 2016 was a year of stress and questions about humanity. While I have also experienced a lot ... a lot of stress, it has not necessarily been all negative. Rather, the year has been quite a mixture of highs and lows.
On the positive side, I completed the requirements of my Masters degree in Psychotherapy, Spirituality and Art Therapy. This included writing my thesis - a major accomplishment all on its own, finishing practicum hours, and ensuring all my documentation was completed. I also graduated officially in November 2016.
Wow! Then my gorgeous daughter got married in September, 2016, and we had a beautiful wedding - a wonderful, warm, beautiful wedding. I couldn't have been more proud of her and her husband Albert.
In August, 2016 I got my first fulltime job as a psychotherapist and art therapist at the Riverdale Immigrant Women's Centre supporting women leaving abusive and traumatic experiences. I am learning a lot.
And I turned 50. Whew. Those are all pretty incredible high points.
The negatives have been just as monumental. A family member was involved in a car accident which totalled the car in July, 2016. I watched as one of the saddest and discouraging elections took place in the United States.
In November, 2016 my father-in-law passed away after a 9 year battle with colon and lung cancer.
A friend and son of dear friends was diagnosed with sarcoma in May, 2016 and died the same day as my father-in-law on November 24, 2016. https://holdingfastsite.wordpress.com
So 2017, I hope is more 'mundane'?!!!! Of course there are always opportunities for growth and seeking out challenges. Why would I seek challenges? Because, with challenges come change, new ideas, enhancement, building character, and wisdom.
At the same time, I have been thinking a lot about Vision. My vision, people's vision. That is, how people's vision shapes our focus, our intent, our identity, what we seek and the direction we end up going in. If my vision is positive, optimistic; and seeks to understand, then my direction in life will be shaped by that vision; and my focus and reality will be shaped by that vision. If I believe that I can succeed, and that despite challenges, I can make a positive impact, then that will shape my reality. I have seen people with immense struggles, who should be overcome by pain and find it impossible to go on, and yet ... they still go on... they encounter the pain, find strength in God, suffer, but they know that there is something positive in the struggle, and believe that there is something greater than themselves. But I have also seen people who have seen problems, but find them overwhelming, and then become shadows of their former selves, because they understand life as only handing them problems. One's vision and the way we deal life's challenges define us and our direction in life.
With positives and negatives in life, which do you focus on? How do you meet the challenges? How do you celebrate the positives? Where do you gather your resources from that provide strength to handle life? And what direction are you going IN?