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Lesson: We may have started this year with the best of intentions, but plans may have gone awry. What lesson really jumped out at you this year? How can you cultivate that lesson going forward?

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There are lessons that you learn when you try and try to accomplish something, and succeed.

And then, there are lessons that come in the bitter pill.  They’re the ones that yu learn when maybe you planned for something and psyched yourself up for something really big and daring, and you’ve pinned a lot of your attention and energy on it.  Maybe you were even a little bit obsessed.

When the time comes, and it’s your turn, you discover that you aren’t any good, or that you aren’t as good as you’d expected to be.  Maybe you get hurt and have to make some hard choices.

The lesson comes in how you handle giving up.  At first, the disappointment, and frankly, the embarrassment are so thick that you could choke, they are so hard to swallow.  After all, you’ve talked about little else n every conversation, written about it and never let it out of your mind for more than a year.

As time goes by, and the seasons turn, you find yourself adjust your thoughts.  You start to think about just how hard you did try.  Most people would never consider taking the chance.  You begin to recognize that the attempt was worth the fear, and the pain, and the sheer exhilaration while it lasted.

Maybe you weren’t supposed to keep going.  Maybe the lesson was to learn to be brave and then, more importantly, to learn to be a bit easier on yourself once the time for bravery was over.

The idea that it’s okay to fall short, especially when you’ve tried, is hard to accept.  You’re supposed to keep reaching until we “win.”  Nobody wants to see the movie where the hero climbs and climbs, yet never reaches the summit, then goes home to sit by the fire and drink tea.

No.  The story is supposed to end with the hero planting the flag on the mountaintop.

What if you change the lesson?  What if you learn to be more gentle with yourself?

What if the lesson becomes about being brave enough to let go of a dream?

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I’m participating in #Reverb12.  Through participation in the Reverb projects, I have made some treasured friends, learned a lot about myself and gained invaluable experience as a writer and as an artist.  Reverb12 is the chance to bid farewell to 2012, and to look forward to 2013 with an open heart.  Join us, won’t you?

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