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I’ve been writing daily gratitude lists for the past seven years. It’s become as natural a habit as brushing my teeth. Even on the most crappy of days I’m able to find a little bit of magic. However once the New Year turned I couldn’t bring myself to be grateful. For 3 days I avoided my daily gratitude list like the plague.

Yesterday I understood why. I needed to write a different kind of a list: An Anger List. Last week I talked about how trying 2013 was for me. Though, true to form, despite the overwhelming internal crap I felt most of the year, I was still able to recognize the immense gifts that emerged as well. Acknowledging the gifts in the most craptastic of years was an important exercise for me, but to finally acknowledge the intense anger I felt about last year has helped to set me free.

What triggered my spontaneous Anger List was the cashier at the grocery store asking me “How are you today?” I lied and said “Fine” because I didn’t think it was appropriate to unleash an emotional diatribe on him. But what I really wanted to say was “How am I? How am I? I’ll tell you how I am! I’m FUCKING MAD!”  So that’s how I began my anger list, and then I made a very lengthy list of all the things I was angry about in big, bold, black letters while dropping many, many f-bombs.

I’m not going to share my list here, because it’s so personal it probably wouldn’t make sense to anyone else, but I’ll tell you that two of the biggest triggers were money and my body. Throw in some other things about how I wasn’t being the wife or mother I wanted to be and you get a pretty good picture of what my Anger List was comprised of.

I guess I had pretty high hopes for 2013. After all my spiritual growth and efforts toward self-improvement, I thought 2013 was going to be “MY YEAR.” Instead it turned out to be the most gut-wrenching, physical/emotional/spiritually stripping year of my life. I was expecting diamonds, and instead I got coal. And yup, that made me mad.

So yesterday I acknowledged it. I looked it in the face and said “You suck!” And it felt great.

After writing my Anger List, I felt lighter. I felt cleansed. And then shortly thereafter I came across a quote that said “You can’t start the next chapter, if you keep re-reading the previous one.” THAT was exactly what I needed to hear. And thanks to my Anger List I was ready to stop re-reading the previous chapter.

Now, instead of lamenting where I am not, I’m going to acknowledge exactly where I am. I’m HERE. NOW. The year 2013 may not have given me the castle in the sky I was expecting, but it sure did give me one helluva foundation.  I don’t know what my next chapter will look like. If last year taught me one thing, it’s not to impose too many expectations on anything. But maybe, just maybe, 2014 will have a few more diamonds and a little less coal.

Happy Magical Monday. ♥

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