I began and ended the year 2014 experiencing tragedy, the worst I have ever experienced. From where I am sitting right now, I am only able to focus on the despair and devastation of the situations and seem to have forgotten all the wonderful things that happened in the months between January and December. I know that many amazing things happened and I could easily make a long list of happy times, accomplishments, and more. However, every piece of me just can’t move past the pain and the torture of my mind and my emotions right now.
So what does that mean? Does this make me a Negative Nancy or a Debbie Downer because I just can’t see the light right now? Not at all, in my opinion. I understand the balance of life as seen in things such as the yin and the yang. In order to really know what true joy or happiness is, we must know and experience the depths of despair. Right now, if I were to push aside the shadows and the darkness then I would only be running away from the truth. And the truth is? This sucks. And I need to feel that, because that is exactly how I feel.
Years ago, I was really bad at allowing myself to feel. When going through mucky waters in life, I did everything I could to busy myself or numb myself so that I didn’t have to feel unwanted pain or anger. This certainly backfired as when you bottle things up for long enough, they WILL come out, and usually not in a very desirable way. So as much as we may not want to, we have to allow ourselves to feel, even when the feelings are awful. One thing that has helped recently is to put my pain into words. (I guess I have you all to thank for that part!). I can’t believe how much lighter I feel when I take even a few minutes to bring a pen to paper and then read what it is that is really inside.
The past few days have been rough, to say the least. Usually, when bad things happen, I try to be the one who pushes people to focus on the positive and the abundance in life. However, this week, I did NOT want to hear any of that. I continued to bathe in my sorrow and fall deeper and deeper into the, It’s not fair! or Why? Why? Why? Of course, there is no good answer to any of it, but I needed that time. I may still need some of that time a week from now, a month from now and maybe longer.
But I can promise, even though I do not see the light at this point, that the light will come. It will. It has to.
Leave it to good old Marilyn Monroe to bring me a little bit of ease to the pain I am feeling. I don’t think she could’ve said exactly what I needed to hear any better. She said, Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. Wow. That needs to be my new mantra. That needs to be the little reminder when I move a bit further away from the rawness of this time that there is hope. And it is hope that will be my guide as I move forward. It will be what I hold onto. I will trust that better things will come and that the amount of joy and happiness I will feel will be so overwhelming that I may even come to appreciate these depths and what they taught me.
So as I move into 2015, I still bring with me some of the rough edges of the year that has past. In fact, they will travel with me for the rest of my life, no doubt. But I also find relief in the concept of a new beginning, with new chances and new opportunities. I hold onto hope. I believe that better things will certainly fall together. There is a light out there, and believe me, I will find it.
Let’s try to sweeten things up after all of that. We haven’t had a lot of snow this season…yet, but I am sure it is coming. And with the snow comes hot chocolate. Have you ever taken a look at a hot chocolate mix from the store to see what is actually in it? It’s very eye opening to say the least. Go ahead and take a look at one for yourself. First of all, sugar and corn syrup are the first two ingredients, that’s bad enough as it is, but then it is loaded with chemicals. This is what I drank as a kid! Well, that will be no more! I have created my very own to sip on this winter and you can easily vary it if you like!
Clean Eating Hot Cocoa
2 cups milk of choice
2 T cocoa powder (heaping tablespoons)
3 T maple (2 of you don’t like it too sweet)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1. In a small saucepan, bring milk to a soft boil. (I heated at medium)
2. Stir in cocoa until completely dissolved.
3. Lower heat to med-low and add in maple and vanilla. (Add the peppermint to if you like!)
4. Bring to a low simmer for a few minutes and then serve immediately.
Note: Feel free to adjust the sweetness to your liking. Also, I am working on a few clean whipped cream recipes right now so eventually they will go together perfectly! Enjoy!