The year is coming to a close – any regrets? How about resentments? Anger? Frustration? I’ve heard people say they regret nothing because it brought them to the place where they are now. But I might argue that sometimes we can’t help but drag around a few toxic memories and emotions that we might be better off without.
A church we once frequented holds an annual burning ceremony on New Year’s Eve. People bring slips of paper to drop in the small flaming chalice. On these papers they’ve written the things they want to leave behind in the old year. I loved this tradition, even if the church was not the one for us.
So I came home and reinvented the tradition at our house. We had a big bonfire and dumped in it all the things we wanted to leave behind. The kids piled old school work into the fire pit. My husband threw in a few broken chairs that he knew he'd never have time to repair. Friends came by, sipped on beers, and dropped in their own secrets scribbled on carefully folded papers. I had pages prepared and when everyone had gone, I slipped a spiralbound notebook on to the fire in which I had poured out all the frustration and doubt that dragged my soul down on a daily basis.
I’d like to say it worked like magic. But life isn’t that simple. It did provide an emotional break- the symbolic destruction of my fears and limitations put another layer between me and them. They were a little less powerful.
What would you like to leave behind in 2014? Write it down. And then find somewhere to burn it – a fireplace is ideal. Please don’t burn your house down. A bonfire could be festive.
What hinders your soul? What keeps you from being the person you want to be?
This Week's Challenge: Symbolically leave any lingering regrets and emotional baggage in the old year so that starting in 2015 you are free to live the life you’ve always wanted.
What is living intentionally?
Remember when you were a kid and you broke something or took something that wasn’t yours or said something you shouldn’t have said? When your mother pinned you down on it, your knee-jerk reply was, “I didn’t mean to do it!”
If you want to learn more about living intentionally, you can buy my book by the same title. It's full of challanges, in fact, I counted them and there are 270 challenges in all! Click here to get your own copy!