Heading Into the New Year Without Old Baggage
Updated: Mar 9
Although there are a few days left of 2019, let me be amongst the first to wish you a Happy 2020!
As we enter a new year and decade, it’s only natural to reflect on the ones that are ending. As adults we usually ponder over all the changes we have undergone in our personal lives, and perhaps in our professional lives as well. We treasure the sweet, priceless moments we’ve spent with the ones we love, and reflect on some of the highlights and painful and disappointing moments we have faced. The end of the year is the perfect time to sort through the memories and decide which ones we choose to carry with us into the New Year, and which ones we decide to let go of because they no longer serve us. I know that isn’t always easy, as I myself have been guilty of having carried some leftover baggage from my past into the coming new year. But I have learned that I need to make a conscious decision to let the negative memories go, and have gotten much better at this.
This is something we need to teach to children. They too face disappointments, hear painful words spoken over them, and may have faced some failures. We need to help them let go of the painful memories as well, and because children are concrete learners, it would benefit them greatly to do this in a tangible way. So how could you do this? First, discuss with them what memories they want to hold on to, and which ones they want to let go of. Have the child write the painful memory down on paper and declare that they will not carry it over into the new year. Then, you can choose one of several options. Perhaps you can attach it to a helium balloon and let it go, or put it into the paper shredder, or into a fireplace if available. If these options are not available, you can always rip the paper and put it into a garbage can, or write the memory on a square of toilet paper and flush it away. You may come up with another method which better serves your child. Make sure to model this activity with your child by letting go of (an age appropriate) painful memory that you want to release as well; it will make all the difference.
What about all the good memories that you want to hold on to? Those too can be written down and kept somewhere special. In my book, The Light Giver Stories Workbook, I talk about creating a “Treasure Chest” where children can keep some of their most precious memories, and a few other items; here they can review them, especially during difficult moments when they need to shift their mood. Teaching children to focus on their blessings and their most treasured memories helps to create a mindset for a healthier and happier tomorrow. That’s something we all want for them.
My dear friend, I wish you and all your loved ones a very Happy New Year filled with joy, health, blessings and love.
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