It has been a complex year and all I know is that many of you out there will have faced your own tough challenges, some that have been overcome with grit and determination and others that have almost broken you with the weight and depth of their difficulty.
There were days this year where I genuinely thought that there would be no resolution, that the interminable darkness and despair would swallow me whole, that my worthiness had been buried never to resurface under some massive cumbersome rock that could not be shifted.
I learned that it is important to feel wanted and needed and worthy and that for me these things come from the work that I do and the relationships I build with the people around me.
I learned that I need to feel connected and secure and that for me comes from having a home and a place to be in the world.
I learned that heartache and heartbreak are cruel masters that spare no-one and that all around me there are people whose stories would make my own look like a walk in the park, that we all need kindness and compassion. That a smile and a hug are the simplest gifts that can give someone a brighter moment in their darkened day.
I learned that many of us fear death, and that at the end it is not dignity that matters but the holding of the hand, the soothing of the brow, and just knowing that someone sits beside you.
It is this moment that matters, not the money, or the glamour, or the furnishings, the shadow of our former life or the lure of future success, but this very moment.
It is the simplest action of human understanding that matters, listening carefully to those around us, sharing their journey holding their hand as well as hoping they will hold ours, not the politics, the rhetoric, the arrogance of selfishness but the humility that is born from suffering, enduring and surviving.
I learned that it is important to be kind and compassionate to oneself and that every moment is a taonga to be treasured.
Namaste as the year draws to a close.
May there be moments of peace in our life.
© Alison Jean Hankinson