2017, you heartbreaker.
I remember being very excited for 2016 to end, egged on by quite a many memes confirming that 2016 was indeed a terrible year.Of course, we sadly remember that it was indeed a bad year even without the internet’s comic relief: natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and Trump becoming President of the USA.
For no particularly solid reason, I looked to 2017 with hope like many others, wishing it would be a much better year.
Sadly, I would say 2017 is the worst year I have had. Without going into too much detail, I lost a lot of faith, a few relationships with a great ripple effect, and on a night out I got drugged and spent a couple of hours hallucinating in fearful paranoia but I was very lucky to be safe in the end.
On the relationships front, I lost a few friends whom I thought of as both friends and family. I need to be clear that blame and responsibility are debatable and judgment can very rarely be made as to whose fault it is. Naturally, in my own view, I feel that some jumped ship a little too quickly and met neither the definition of friendship nor family. The hurt and disappointment grew into a feeling of betrayal and confirmation that yes, Christians are indeed hypocrites.
Then, in moments of all sorts, intentional and unintentional, I found myself inspired by other friends of mine (some Christian) who show me what friendship and loyalty look like: they hurt when you hurt, love you even when you are the worst version of yourself, and realise that they just need to be a friend, not to pick sides when it was never asked of them. Yes, it does sound like a lot of drama but alas, don’t we all have moments where we realize, “oh, so things like this do happen in real life!” I think that perhaps hurt people find themselves in the midst of more drama not because they attract it, but when one is hurt, their ability to love, forgive, and be empathetic takes a major hit.
I don’t wish to sound too cliche, but as I left 2017 feeling drained from the drama and all sorts of pain and doubt, I do resolve to be more kind in 2018. Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” We all know that even loved ones can be difficult to love at times, so it’s definitely a stretch to be able to extend love to my ‘enemies’ like Jesus has taught. To break this down into more ‘manageable bites’ of empathy, patience, and kindness (there are many more, I know), I want to teach myself to slow down and make time for myself so that I am no longer running on fumes and will have the capacity to stop chain-reacting to everything that happens around me.
As 2017 drew to a close, I exhaustedly looked up from my own battle and saw the brokenness all around the world – tortured minds, shattered hearts, and even our planet which is being torn apart by the way we take resources for granted. There is an inevitable feeling of despair, but I hope that this year, with what power I have, I will be bringing light and positivity to those I am able to touch.
How about you? How has your 2017 been and how are you feeling as you take on another yeare?