• Sober Blessings

"We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it."

Are you ready to shut the door on 2020?

I get it. Me too.

Overall, 2020 was a year we'd all like to forget.

But, what if we didn't?

What if we reframed our thinking to refer to 2020 as a year that taught us new lessons? What if we reframed our thinking to refer to 2020 as a year that taught us to grow?

I am well aware that some pretty awful things happened in 2020, but I just have a hard time thinking that I'll look back at an entire year and not have gained something from it. I don't want to live that. I don't want to live in a place of resentments toward an entire 365 days.

So, tomorrow morning, New Year's Day 2021, I want to wake up and pat myself on the back for trudging through the past year. I want to wake up and smile at the new day, the new year…a fresh start…and be grateful for the lessons that 2020 taught me.

And there were many.

I definitely learned to slow down. I'm grateful for the chance to spend time with my husband and kids in a place where we weren't busy scurrying here and there and everywhere and missing out on the simple day-to-day life that happened right before my eyes.

I learned to expand my prayer life. My once rote, recited prayers of childhood words came to life. They awoke inside of me and challenged me to not only practice them, but to live and believe them. My faith in God was tested, and even when things didn’t turn out how I had hoped, I still found peace and gratitude for the test.

I found support meetings from the comfort of my own home via virtual meetings. Meetings that were happening 24/7 where I was able to connect with people all over the world right from my laptop! You have to admit that that's pretty.dang.amazing!

I found new ways to be of service, to help others and learned, myself, to accept help from others when I wasn’t so good about asking for help.

It all reminds me of the Promises from the AA Big Book:

"We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it."

The past is a gift not to be regretted, but to be used as a tool. A gift that shows us where we went wrong, but also, what we did right...what we did well. A gift that shows us where we can improve and how we can put a plan of action together to make the improvements. A gift that shows us how we can maybe reframe our thinking for the next day...for 2021. Where we can take a good, solid look at how we'd like to do things differently this time and how we can continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear...and when those crop up in our lives, we can ask God to remove them.

Yes, I’m happy to move on to 2021 and pray that it will be a better year, but I also hope that we’ll take what we’ve learned from 2020 to make this new year better than the last.

So, tonight, I won’t be slamming the door on 2020 at the stroke of midnight. Rather, I’ll be thanking it for its gifts and I’ll cheerfully open the door to 2021 with hopes and dreams for more lessons learned, challenges met and growth through it all.

Happy New Year, my friends!

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