year summaries

Thanksgiving 2021: The year that was the fullness of life

25 Nov 2021

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s time for my annual 12 months + 12 blessings yearly summary! This one, however, is going to be a bit different – because this year has been a bit different. And it has taught me all about the fullness of life.

The fullness of life is everything I expected + nothing I expected all at once. It is wild + crazy ride of a life where blessings are blessings, and where crises become blessings, and where heartbreaks are on their way to being blessings. Ultimately, I truly, really, deeply believe that every-single-thing can be and/or will be transformed into a blessing… if I have that mindset, stay open, and trust in the unfolding of life.

But, really. What is the fullness of life? What do I mean by that?

Well, the fullness of life is an inspired way of seeing life. It is a belief in the hope that, in the end, love wins, all things work for the good, and that the arc of justice is long. It is faith + trust in the unfolding of life, the cycles of it all, and that with every year we are on a journey of sanctification – that is, of becoming who we are meant to be. Our highest, best, most spiritual, fullest selves.

Belief in these truths gives me a sense of presence + purpose and reminds me every single day that all things can be transformed. All things evolve + change. It is up to me to choose to be a mindful part of the cyclical, transformative way of life or not.

The fullness of life is knowing that true life is a beautiful dance of everything. It is feeling all of the feels. Experiencing grief + love. Living in the midst of light + dark. And it is understanding that these things are not opposites, but actually a mystical part of each other. We cannot have + appreciate the light without the dark. We do not know the fullness of love without loss. The fullness of life is understanding that the journey of life includes it all, but trusts in the mysterious truth that this is what makes life beautiful. It is getting to the point of realizing that it’s all life – the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, and everything in between.

Just like a cycle of life in nature includes light months + dark months, spring rebirth, summer growth, autumn’s death, and winter’s rest, our life includes all of these moments. The thing is, we have to learn to accept + embrace the whole journey. When we do, as I have experienced this past year, life becomes much deeper, more real, filled with meaning, and so much more real. it is a deeper, truer, higher, more grounded, more hopeful way of living. At least it has been for me.

Ok, now that I’ve shared my thoughts on the fullness of life, let me get to my Thanksgiving tradition of sharing with you 12 moments from the past 12 months for which I am – deep breath – deeply grateful.

Full disclosure, this year has been a hard one. Hence, my focus on the fullness of life. It’s totally possible to find a few blessings. But, it’s much easier to find a whole bunch of moments that make this past year feel like a shit show. However, experiencing the fullness of life means learning that life is not just blessing upon blessing, rainbow after rainbow. Living a full life is not living a life that is simply moving from one happy moment to the next. From one light+ happy moment from the other. It is, as I said above, living through it all and trusting the cycle, keeping the hope, and remaining grounded.

The fullness of life is deep. Real. Intense. Authentic. And, ultimately, way more beautiful than a surface life of happy moments.

So, this year, it’s not the traditional set of happy blessings that I am listing here. Instead, it’s more real. It’s a blend of blissful moments, cozy moments, and tough moments that, with the right mindset, have been transformed into blessings. It has been a year of the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.

/ This time last year we were pregnant with our first child. Sadly, she wasn’t well and we had to end to pregnancy one day before 16 weeks. I’d say that that has been the center of the past 12 months, from the high of expecting to the low of the loss. This experience has affected + changed everything. Yet, we are still here. Still strong – though it often doesn’t feel like it – and still trying.

/ There have also been vaccines + hope, but also it’s now been 2 years since I’ve seen my parents + brother + his partner.

/ Work was a shit show + I can’t get people to hire me now, but I am discovering + learning exactly what I want.

/ Our apartment in Uppsala was stifling + depressing, but we moved to Norrköping + now call an amazing loft apartment home.

/ I’ve had my beliefs + values questioned, but that’s just helping me grow stronger roots.

/ I had painful toe surgery twice, but it taught me so much about listening to my body.

/ All of the grief + pain has strengthened my marriage + deepened my love for my wife.

/ Living in deep rhythms with nature has helped me flow with all that has happened.

/ And, the tough moments that have made me question myself have started giving me clarity on embracing my wisdom, leaving the church, focusing on writing, and becoming a mother.

December

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

I realize that I’ve shared alot of phots now. But, creating this has helped me gain even more perspective + understanding. The fullness of life is a holistic, big picture way of looking at and living life. That’s why I love to do this post on Thanksgiving. Simple taking the time to reflect + remember the past 12 months, and all that has happened, give me a much deeper sense of understanding. And, I truly, deeply get that the blessings that I so seek in my life are found in every single moment. And, even when there are those moments or months or years that are so very difficult, the bigger picture is the blessing. All of life is the blessing.

So, with that, I’ll leave you to your Thanksgiving celebrations (or not, if you’re not celebrating). Before I say farewell for today, though, I’d like to express my gratitude for you – whether I know you or not, I am so grateful for your presence here. Your energy is felt, even as you simple read my words + take in my thoughts.

Sending you all of the blessings I can as we begin the holiday season. May it be meaningful, simple, and deep. xoxo. liz.

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