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Filed Under: Personal
Prioritizing Peace in 2024

Prioritizing Peace in 2024

By Michelle Lunger

And just like that… 2023 has come to an end and 2024 is here. Let's take a moment to reflect on this past year and then let go of any of that shit that may be weighing you down! You don’t need to forget or suppress everything that happened, but try to come to terms with it and allow yourself to move forward. I’m not going to lie for me, 2023 was one of the hardest years. But nonetheless, I have learned and grown so much. Every hardship, difficulty, or struggle has gotten me to where I am today and each taught me a lesson I can take with me tomorrow and the next day. Those lessons are what I am choosing to carry with me into the new year. 

 

2023 was a year filled with grief. And through grief, I’ve learned that life is short and to check in regularly with those in your life, to cherish the people you love, have gratitude for what you have, and to prioritize yourself and your healing. I’ve always known those things, but I feel like grief and loss really brings to the surface what is most important in life. Through change, I’ve learned that feeling safe and grounded is so important, but it is ok to keep on changing your mind and your direction. Life doesn’t always go according to plan… honestly it usually doesn’t, but that doesn’t have to get in your way. Leave room for alternative plans, try to view things outside of “tunnel vision” and the in-between black and white thinking. And if anything or anyone tries to hold you back, don’t let it. If you know what you want and you know it is truly for you, be relentless and don’t wait for change to happen. And lastly, give yourself grace no matter what. 

During my last therapy session of the year, I started to tell my therapist my goals for the new year and what I wanted to work on. She said that “I know you feel safe and have a sense of control in thinking about the future, but that is far away. You don’t need to make goals, they will always come. So what do you really need right now? To get through now, not next year.” It took me some time to really think about what I needed at the moment. But what I really needed was simple; to find more compassion for myself, to be more present in my daily life and to take it easy. This is something that is second nature to me when caring for my loved ones because I find that sometimes it’s easier to have compassion and be present for the ones you love. But in your daily life, it can be tough to prioritize that for yourself since everything is “go go go” and it can leave you running on autopilot. 

 

So in 2024, let’s release all expectations, to give ourselves the space for change, growth, and self-compassion. Although you may feel obligated to, you don't need to set goals. You don’t need to become a new person in the new year. And you don’t need to “reach for the stars”. A year is honestly a short period of time in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes a year feels like it passes by in the blink of an eye. Timelines can create so much unnecessary pressure but at the end of the day, you can go as fast or as slow as you need to. Maybe the intention should be to accept that things take time and to just be present, as much as possible. Thinking far into the future for many can feel hopeful, safe, and create a sense of control and security. But when things don’t work out, it can cause heart break, grief, loss, and constant redirection. So let’s stay in the present right here and right now. This moment is precious, like every moment. Don’t let it pass you by. 

 

So cheers to 2023, for all it has taught us and helped us grow. Both the good moments AND the bad moments and everything in between. And here’s to 2024, prioritizing peace, presence, you, and your mental health. Take the pressure off, and take it easy. You deserve it after all you’ve accomplished and been through this past year.