Maybe you are dancing around the Christmas Tree to Michael Buble or singing softly into the night while rubbing your growing belly. Maybe you are busy trying to complete all your end-of-year projects or heading off to your version of a holiday vacation. Perhaps you are fully dreading this time of year or even still, maybe you have no feelings whatsoever about it. I do not know you but I understand the reasons that you are here with us.

2023 and 2024 traced in the sand at the beach - Courageous Parents, A Wish for a Gentle End to Your Year


And whoever you are, I wish you a gentle end to 2023.

I pray that when you look back on the year that has passed, you can see more than pain. I pray that you can see the small ways that you have triumphed. The little ways that you have been brave and defiant. The strengths that you have gained and the people that you have met. This year you have learned many new things. About yourself and those around you. Friendships have deepened and others have grown apart. It has been a challenging year, but you are coming out the other side.

And I wish you a gentle end to 2023.

That you would have the grace to forgive yourself and others. That you can look at your year past and know that you did your best, even if at times that meant doing nothing at all. I hope you saw some great movies or plays. That you mastered the art of bread making or finally wrote your first article. And that something this year made you laugh until you cried.

And I wish you a gentle end to 2023.

Did you feel tired this year? Did you have to look on while other people have made different choices than you? Did you face a lot of backlash for your own choices? Did anyone give you the chance to explain yourself or are those things still left unsaid? Will you try again next year or will you learn to be okay with that? We all have to decide what type of humans we want to be and how we treat others and allow them to treat us in return. I know that you will figure it all out.

And I wish you a gentle end to 2023.

Year endings give way to new beginnings. Beginnings that meet us excitedly making plans for the new year or cautious taking it one day at a time. Some of you already have a calendar full of events for next year and others are staring at a blank slate full of possibilities. 2024 already holds so much: new births, jobs, relationships, challenges, joys and sorrows, worries, and wins. It is already whispering to us, beckoning us forward. And if you are like me, you are already being tempted by its call. But I urge you to stop a moment and think back on this year that for so many held their deepest sorrows. This was not a lost year because it re-introduced you to you, the beautiful you that was revealed this year.

I wish you a beautiful, bountiful new year. May 2024 be filled with all that the universe has in store for you. May you realize all the dreams you have for yourself. But first, I wish you a gentle end to 2023.

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