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2016: Growth and Moving Forward

Everything that needed to be said about this year, has pretty much already been said. It was a horrible year. Some would even have you believe, the worst. And whether or not this was true for everyone, I have seen, heard and experienced enough to know that a lot of us really went through it. So I’m more than happy to see it go. I’m watching 2017 approach with open arms and an open mind. I can’t say for sure, but the hope is that it will be better to us than 2016 was.

Personally, this was the year that tried me like I have never been tried before. A lot of it felt unnecessary but some of it was significant. And in the end, the lesson I’d like to think I have taken away in all of it, is that inasmuch as growth is uncomfortable… it is worth it.

Coming into this year, I asked for more. I asked to be challenged in the areas of my life I felt were lacking. 2016 delivered, and let me tell you… I. Was. Not. Ready. When people talk about growth, it seems like the kind of thing that happens organically. Things fall into place when you’re ready and you naturally ascend to meet your new limits in a way that is both graceful and inspiring. At least, that’s what I thought. It turns out all the talk about aiming higher and getting out of your comfort zone? Not as easy as I mistakenly assumed. I have learnt that real growth, hurts. Real growth stretches you beyond the limits you thought you were prepared to reach and forces you awake in a way that is jarring and unexpected. It challenges you to confront things about yourself that you may not be ready to face, in an effort to break your weaknesses down and propel you forward. And that’s never fun. I mean, I knew when I was going through it, that it was for the best and I’d come out better for it. But everything in me resisted, and that’s when it can feel like life is being unfair by asking more from you than you’re willing to give. The choice is up to you, to either take up the mantle and transcend your perceived weaknesses and do better, or to stay in your comfort zone and be angry at the world for asking things of you that you feel it has no right to.

I have dealt with this phase in my life in my own way, and the lesson was clear. I’m more accountable for my role in certain situations and how they impact my life. Going forward, I’m better equipped to handle situations that will require me to grow further into the person I desire to be.

Another prominent aspect of this year was the way in which my mental and emotional health were negatively affected by things that were happening in my life. It was a lot to take and I did not handle a lot of it well. I spent a great part of the year feeling lost and inadequate in ways I couldn’t pull myself out of, and I suffered. I suffered because I knew this wasn’t who I am. I knew that I was more than my situation and had proven, time and time again, that I was so much more. It was just extremely difficult to believe in the moment. But I let myself feel all the feelings and deal with the hurt and I am now progressing in a way that assures me I’ll be fine. The work now is to rebuild. To go forth and gather everything I thought I lost and give it back to myself.

So with that, I declare 2017 as the year of self-love and rediscovering the light in myself. May we all live our best lives and flourish. Insha’Allah.

Wishing everyone a glorious New Year.

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