It may be strange to talk about the year just gone at the beginning of October. For most of you the year doesn’t end for another 3 months. This isn’t the same for everybody. The Jewish New Year called Rosh Hashanah took place at the beginning of October. With the fact all the shops are already loaded up with goods for Christmas, I feel it justified to write about reviewing the year just gone. Plus the fact, anytime you’re ready to plan your life forward, whenever that may be, you can do a review of your previous 12 months.
In the Jewish prayer book for the New Year one is urged to do a review of the year just gone. To peer into one’s life with wisdom and discernment, to evaluate what one can see, and then with strength to act with resolve to change whatever needs improvement. Good advice for anyone.
You may be filled with memories of the year gone by, its joys as well as its sorrows. For the happy times that you enjoyed in the year gone be thankful, for those times of trials and tribulations evaluate what happened and why, and learn from the experience. The more we look at the things that have happened the better prepared we are to avoid similar mistakes and create more joyful moments.
The prayer book says:
Give me Your light that I may see my varied experiences in their true meaning. As I look backward, may there be revealed to me how much richer, how much more abundant were my blessings than my privations, and how even my losses, my trials, my sorrows have within themselves the possibilities of higher good.
I believe this is of immense importance. Not to ignore what’s happened or try to forget it, but to look at it and determine what you did wrong, what you could do better, how to avoid them happening again. There is so much we can learn by putting our life under a spotlight and then being honest with ourselves, and see exactly how you have been, what you’ve done as well as not done. By doing this you really can get to grip over yourself and make things so much better in the period ahead.
Following on from Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, comes Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, where one repents their sins, looking back over their previous year remembering, or owning up to all their sins and shortcomings, of opportunities neglected, of time misspent, of abilities and powers perverted to lower purposes, all those timers they let themselves down. Because after all you really are 100% responsible for your life and the actions you take.
Everyone of you should review your year, remembering the good times, which should bring a smile to your face, but then take time to think of all your failures, bad moments, unhappy times as well as all the ones where you let yourself down, or did bad against another person or even yourself. Think of it as stepping into a personal confessional. It’s so important to admit to your mistakes, wrong doings and time you’ve wasted away.
“Admitting your mistakes is not a sign of weakness. It shows you have the courage to know your wrong, and that you have become stronger.” Aaron DeCamp
We all know the uncomfortable feeling of accepting we’ve made mistakes or done wrong, but no matter how much it hurts to accept these things, the benefits will be vast. Making mistakes is human. Since we aren’t all-knowing or all-powerful, we all will mess up at times. It’s never easy to admit you’ve made a mistake, but it’s a crucial step in learning, growing, and improving yourself.
“We are told that “life is to be measured in terms of character and usefulness, and that more than mere length of days are breadth of sympathies, loftiness of ideals and greatness of service. Aid me to utilize rightly whatever added span of time You, in Your grace and goodness, shall accord to me.”
So do a self-examination of your life and your past year. As you look back over the past year, remember the wrongs you did, the unkind words you spoke and the pain you brought so as to insure you will not repeat them in the future.
To make the best of the next 365 days and to ensure life begins to see massive improvements you now need to review the year just gone and determine what needs to change, empower yourself with exciting goals, rid yourself of your bad habits and fill your days with purpose.
“Being the best version of oneself is something everyone should at least try to be. If everyone would do that we could make the world a better place.”
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you have any further thoughts, ideas, reflections or suggestions about this topic, than please feel free to comment below.
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I try to be the best version of myself daily. It is something that I realized at a late age, but that comes with maturity. When you try to be the best version of yourself, you will notice better things happening in your life, at least i have!
Well said William, constant and never ending improvement should be our goal, looking to fulfil our potential and contribution.