For the past few years, I've been sharing my word of the year. This year is SEEK. As in, seek out the people, places, and things that spark joy, bring peace, and make your soul sing.
Some of the past year words: steady, breathe, focus, attack, were chosen with the highest of hopes for those coming years. But amid the bright spots that warm the soul, periods of darkness gathered like storm clouds on the horizon. They blocked out the sunshine of happiness like ash drifting from a fire, sometimes for days, sometimes for months.
We are told that periods of pain make us stronger. That going through darkness makes you appreciate the light. And that may be true. But that doesn't make the experience any easier or less of a struggle.
The best advice I can give for those dark periods is to be gentle with yourself. Nourish your soul as best you can. Rest. Repair. Reflect. Take a moment to think about the things that bring you the most happiness and the most peace. How can you incorporate them more into your life? Take a moment, too, to think about the things that aren't sparking joy. Maybe it's time to bid those things (and yes, sometimes, people and situations) goodbye.
I hope your year has more bright spots than stormy ones, more sunshine than clouds, more good days than bad. Less struggle and more joy. But no matter what the coming year brings, seek out the joy.