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January 1, 2015

Gratitude for a Year of Discovery & Growth.

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Dear 2014:

Thank you for showing me what it means to love; not just to love others but to truly love myself. There was a time that I questioned if I would ever truly be able to say that and mean it whole-heartedly.

…I mean it.

Thank you for showing me that all of life is a continuous journey of meandering roads; that even once we reach the peak of a mountain or the end of a hike, we still need to find our way back to ground level, back to the start.

There are ongoing leaps to take and even more falls to embrace. Everything comes back to the beginning eventually; everything is about feeling our own heartbeats—loving our souls as much as we love the idea of love itself.

Thank you for showing me that life is less about what you do and more about how you feel. Every moment marks an opportunity to learn something new, building a tower of knowledge and awareness from the building blocks of our own experiences and emotions.

This time of year always brings about a mixture of reflective emotions from regret to gratitude and everywhere in between. As I write this letter, I find myself looking back in time to a very different couch in Cleveland nearly 365 days ago.

I keep trying to transport back in time and agonize over what could have been, what I could have done differently. It’s funny how we do this to ourselves: make everything out to seem not good enough when really, it’s all perfect. Ironically enough, the more I try to transport to the past (a feat I usually fall victim to), the more I am pulled back into the present moment thinking about the commitments I am making to myself as I invite in this New Year. 2015, a year my soul is telling me will be filled with growth, as most years are.

This year is different though… this year, I’m ready.

I am overwhelmed by a sense of hope and most importantly, a trust that is finding its way into the limbs of my internal existence. I feel an innate faith in the universe; not forced or overcomplicated, but an undeniable knowingness that the universe is on my side—as long as I let it be and as long as I am on its side as well.

Dear 2014, thank you for showing me that everything I want is already inside of me and that hiding behind shadows only makes for misery and discontentment. Also, that there is light behind every dark shadow if I choose to see it, however dim or bright it may be. Choosing love means choosing to see the light that may be hiding behind the caves in our minds that block pathways into the journey of our heart.

Thank you for showing me that everything comes back to the heart—our capacity to feel and express raw emotion—good, bad, beautiful and ugly; our capacity to trust our intuition; our capacity to invite love into our lives by uncovering and embracing our own souls. The heart knows, and it speaks everywhere we go. Our job is to listen and to trust that what lies within will never steer us wrong.

Thank you for showing me that there is no “off course” in life; there is no “right” path or curriculum for living that provides us with answers for every encounter we meet. Thank you for encouraging me to embrace who I am at my core and to find my own path along this journey of the heart. Thank you for teaching me that all paths only become paths when we take our first steps along them.

2014, thank you for showing me that everything begins and ends with the heart: listening to it, feeling it and embodying the essence of abundant love within.

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Author: Lauren Cohen

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Wikipedia

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Lauren Cohen  |  Contribution: 2,120