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A Year to Reflect

As the winds shift, and the seasons change, we find ourselves at that point of the year where we often reflect on the transitions, relationships, and moments in our lives that have passed. Oftentimes, people can find themselves entranced in the existential whirlwind that is easy to fall into as the holidays and end of the year face us.

The question I lead with today is,

How do we overcome this struggle when we're stuck in a state of,

"What is the point?"

Much like relationships, we can lose ourselves in the mindtrap of finding and understanding our purpose in the world. Purpose and meaning are important facets of our life, especially as many face the storms of grief or loss, trauma, addiction, and other struggles that, whether expected or not, can leave us questioning our connection to whatever lies in front or ahead of us.

I will touch quickly on the importance of "finding meaning" when it comes to this end-of-year reflection period, and hopefully it conveys an understanding that resonates with where you're at right now. Finding meaning plays an essential role in our healing, because it involves our deeper understanding of how different parts of our lives impact our view of self and others.

For many, it's a simple reflection to convey how you feel loved by your partner, family, or loved ones. Maybe you see where they have impacted your life positively, and they've been able to hold space for you in ways that surpass the negative dances in your past. This can be difficult though, as YOU begin to reflect on your current situation(s) and view of self. While their comfort is a key priority in your life, you may see your own struggles as a sign of weakness, a point of embarassment or shame.

In this case, the holidays may leave you in a place where you spiral in a state of disconnect. You don't want to connect or feel the emotions tied to experiences that are happening right in this very moment. Instead, you question the "point," or you find yourself wrapped in a web of existential dread — a place where you experience distress or despair tied to the human experience or meaning of existence.

Now, the way out of this is not one simple answer. There are ways you can begin to transform your view of self when you're stuck in a period or state of existential dread.

  1. One step you can take involves evaluating the parts of your life that elicit a sense of joy and peace. If you find comfort in the connection you hold to your partner or loved one(s), take a moment to think about how they show up in a way that impacts you positively. Take this a step further and have a conversation with them about this impact.

  2. Another step you can take entails reflecting on what freedom means to you. For many stuck in financial crisis, relationship disconnect or distress, or tough life decisions, much of the struggle with feeling stuck feels outside of your control. In this case, while certain systems outside of us have a direct impact on our decisions, it can leave you feeling quite alone in your experience. So, take the time to talk to someone you feel safe with about the challenges you're facing here and what DECISIONS you CAN make together.

  3. In addition, we can find ourselves trapped in a trigger state, especially if you've experienced trauma from relationships, or even a personal loss. This may look like anything from closing off and isolating yourself, pushing others away, or coping by numbing oneself, to name a few. These are all direct reflections of the state we can find ourselves in when existential dread leaves us alone in our own mind during this part of our lives. Take the time to address where you feel "lost" emotionally, and within the context of your life. If we disconnect completely, we can lose ourselves and our own identity. If you can find a safe space to address these parts of yourself, you can begin to embrace the underlying experiences tied to view of self, and begin to TRANSFORM new meaning from what feels meaningless right now.

  4. Start to embrace new ways of connecting (rituals to connect to yourself and loved ones) that revolve around these places of peace and joy. Make patterns in your life that incorporate these rituals.

If this insight is hard to embrace in this moment, know that it is okay. Please reach out to a counselor, or someone that you can trust to evaluate your next steps this year. As a new year waits just around the corner, set the intention to "CREATE NEW MEANING," and allow yourself the grace and time to hit that refresh button, given all that you've gone through that deserves the space and time to heal as well.

Remember, holding space for your difficult reflections looks different for everyone. Finding what that looks like for YOU is truly important when it comes to transforming your view of self and life. THANKS!

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