The festivities are done, the days are growing longer, reflections of the year past are in my head, and the lessons I’ll take forward are here. 

Each year after the Solstice I go into a small hibernation, and hence the reason I’ve been quiet for the past couple of weeks.  A friend of mine commented that I use to disappear this time of year; his voice was laced with both laughter and amazement and yet, he was right.  I thought about what he said and the changes that I’ve gone through this past year and the dark seasons prior.

Change; a simple word and yet one laced with both fear and excitement.  Change is what this is all about.  The darkest time of the year, the time between Samhain and Yule, is one of deep introspection for me.  I reflect on the year(s) that passed and look to see where I was, where I am, and where it is I wish to be.  This year was no different. 

What my reflections are pose no consequence to anyone but me, they are private and will remain that way.  What is important is that I took stock of my life and what I have done with it over the past year.  From there I have been able to see what I feel good about, what I think I could have done better, and then I smile.  That’s right, I smile.  You see, a long time ago a very smart lady gave me some advice.  At the time I believe she thought it was advice to help me get through a particularly tough time.  What she probably didn’t know was that I would carry her words with me for the rest of my life. Her advice was simple:

“Never regret anything you have done.  Not one decision, not one turn, not one mistake, not anything.  The person you are today is a sum total of all the decisions, turns, mistakes, and victories that you have done.  If you regret anything you have done then you regret who you are, who you have become.  Who you are today is not something to regret.”

Sage words for sure.  I hear people speak of regrets and how they wish they could go back and change parts of their past.  But the wisdom you now have wouldn’t exist if you changed your past; the experience and insight you hold would be gone and how sad would that be?  So coming out of the darkness this year I do not regret, I hope no one else does either.  It doesn’t mean that all of my decisions were the right ones, it doesn’t mean that they all worked out as I planned; but it does mean that I learn from my past mistakes and move forward to where they take me. 

I see beauty in the future, for me and for all those around me. I see learning that life isn’t always what we want it to be but rather a wonderment of opportunity ready to be experienced.  May you find that wonder as well.  Look at your past and find the lessons.  Look at where you are and understand the insight you have been offered.  Look to the future and wonder what opportunities lay before you.  May your return to the light be beautiful.

Oh, and who gave me the advice?  My daughter when she was 15.