It’s so hard to believe 2016 is just a couple days away!  When I reflect back on 2015 it was so full to have gone so fast.  To be perfectly honest, not every moment of the past year brings back warm and fuzzy memories.  There were heart and gut wrenching moments that I wish I could forget.  There were joyous, triumphant moments I wish I could relive everyday.  It’s very possible your year was like mine or your year could’ve been filled with far more tragedy or far more joy.  Whichever the case may be, I want to challenge you to not look back or dwell on the sorrow or disappointment.  You may say, “I lost a loved one, am I supposed to forget about them or not miss them?”  No.  That’s not what I mean.  When we lose someone we love, we will always miss them because the piece they were in our puzzle of life is missing and no other piece will fill that spot exactly.  What I am saying is you cannot dwell on or focus on the bad things, the hurts, pains, disappointments.  Doing that only hurts you.

“Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving.” -Proverbs 4:15 NLT

Where your mind goes, the course of your life follows.  Every action we make began as a thought/idea.  Granted we have a lot of thoughts we do not act on, but generally speaking those things we meditate on end up making an impact on our life.  Many times the disappointments we experience try to consume our focus and keep us stuck in that moment, reliving the pain and preventing us from moving forward.  Though you cannot change the past, you don’t have to choose to live there.  As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to make a change.  We make mistakes and bad choices sometimes and sometimes bad things just happen due to no fault of our own,. but they don’t have to define or dictate our entire life/future.

I saw a quote once that to paraphrase basically said, “I never lose.  I either win or I learn.”  That embodies how I want to live my life.  Life is a continual process of learning, growing and moving forward.  The funny thing about moving forward is it’s difficult, dangerous and nearly impossible to do if you’re looking back.  If one is not careful, it’s very easy to let what is wrong overshadow everything that’s right.  Like I so often say, it’s all about perspective.  Those who have successful & happy lives are those who choose to focus on the positive, learn from experiences (even the bad ones), and keep moving forward.

As 2015 draws to a close, I challenge you to not be discouraged or fearful of 2016.  Do not take any negative emotional or mental baggage from this past year with you into the New Year.  Embrace 2016 with the mindset that anything is possible, knowing this new year will be what you choose to make of it.  A New Year is full of new possibilities and opportunities.  Now is the time to turn away from those things that have hindered or held you back from having a full and happy life.  Whether you’ve struggled with depression, addiction, anger, whatever it may be, know that there is hope.  Don’t think about all the reasons it shouldn’t or won’t work, don’t keep going down the path that led you to the place you didn’t want to be.  Turn away from the old negative mindset and keep moving forward….don’t give up.