Let’s wrap up the year and this reflection business with the final blog in this series. It’s called Reflecting on the year and what to do with those insights. Some might say the reflecting part is the easiest. I would tend to agree. You’re probably doing it alone, or with someone else you trust. Even if you have moments of realization that make you feel vulnerable, you can choose to keep it there. That vulnerability isn’t on display. Well, not yet anyway.
Chances are good that your reflecting led you to some insights about your own behaviors. Maybe you realized you could have reacted differently in one situation. Maybe you realized you were making some incorrect assumptions in another. Maybe you regret staying quiet when you should have spoken up, either for yourself or for someone else.
The great news is two-fold
One, behaviors are always a choice. We are in charge of our own behaviors, outward reactions, and level of engagement. We can make a different choice at any point. Read that again if you need to.
Two, in many situations, we can go back. Apply those insights you gained about a colleague with whom you aren’t getting the results you want. Go back. Have a conversation. Be willing to engage, ask questions, admit not knowing enough, or whatever the case may be. You’re in charge of your own behavior, so you can choose to go back and try again.
Sometimes, you can’t
Grieving for my mom since her death two years ago has taught me that sometimes those insights come too late. Sometimes, going back to the person you’re struggling with isn’t an option. What do you do with those insights then?
Everyone must find their own path, but I’ll share mine. I write. I talk to my closest people. I share my story, my struggles, my regrets, and my insights with others on their own caregiver journey. I also choose special dates where I check out of work and everything else. I choose an activity to honor my mom and to express my insights and what I wish I could say to her. I look for ways to forgive myself, forgive her, and find peace.
Where will your path take you this year?