It’s New Years Eve.

I guess it’s of no coincidence that I’m here writing. This time of year has always had many people thinking, looking back on their year, analyzing things they could have done better or maybe the things they would have changed.

I happen to think that this year I did as best as I could.

I think back on the four people, for instance, that I wrote sincere apology letters to. Apology letters because I felt that in some way I had inadvertently hurt them and no one deserves to be hurt without being genuinely told “I’m Sorry”, whether the hurt was purposely inflicted or not.

Not one of those four people responded to my letters.

I can’t say that I am at all surprised. It takes a different kind of strength to go back and relive a moment long ago forgotten, forgive, and move on. I was certainly prepared to never hear a word from any one of the people I reached out to. So why spend my time even writing out those sincere and heartfelt letters?? Well it’s simple really. If life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got, then imagine how much easier it is once you receive the apology you always deserved.

I think about the many times I have been hurt by those close to me, by those I loved very much. I remember there was a time when all I would desire was to receive an apology from them and then move on from the hurt, together, and start fresh. I can honestly say that I never once received one and I learned to move on and forgive anyways. I learned to accept that apology I never got and released myself from the chains that grudges had me bound to for so long. I thought to myself, “I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to be the person who hurts someone and never says sorry. I don’t want for someone else to have to move on from a situation alone when an “I’m Sorry” could be the very wind under their wings to help carry them away from that pain.”

I wrote the letters and when I sent them out I felt good. I felt good because not only was I acknowledging a mistake I made, not only was I reaching out in hopes to make their life a little better, I unknowingly was releasing myself from guilt that I had held onto for quite some time.

I came to realize that in the apologizes I had written intended to ease someone else’s burden or pain, I had released my own. It was a beautiful thing.

I don’t look at it as though my letters were unanswered or ignored. I mean they could most likely have been, who knows, but those letters still served a purpose. A purpose much stronger and even more beautiful than I had ever intended.

I start this new year on a clean slate, maybe not with everyone else, but definitely with myself. As my 30th birthday creeps closer excitement ripples through my soul because of all that I have learned not only in this last year but in the last decade. The biggest lesson being, Forgiveness.

Not just forgiving others, but most importantly yourself.

1389073_399867570145113_1248921031_n-2Photo Credit: Natal Galvan