Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to the last chapter of Grateful Heart Monday for 2021, where gratitude has remained the sole focus on my writing at the start of each week. For my final grateful entry of the year, I decided to express my gratitude for the main lessons I learned in 2021. I honestly believe that life is a constant learning lesson if we choose to see it that way. There are always opportunities for growth, and I most certainly experienced much of that in 2021.

For starters, one of the biggest lessons I learned is how much I’m a different person (and not in a good way) when I’m on high levels of caffeine. While I might find more focus and creativity with my writing after ingesting a good amount of coffee, I also find my moods become erratic, I get short-tempered, and I yell and argue more, especially with my partner. I’ve been staying away from caffeinated beverages for well over a month now, something that’s been extremely challenging, but rewarding at times, because I’ve had far more stability in not only my moods, but in my relationship with my partner as well.

Another lesson I learned in 2021 is that it’s ok to step back from a friendship that isn’t feeding my soul. I’ve gone the extra mile in all my friendships in life, but often have felt in some of them that it wasn’t mutual. I’ve held onto friendships far past their shelf life, often at my own expense, mostly because of childhood angst about always being friendless back then. This year I took a hard look at my life and made difficult decisions to stand up for myself and draw closer to those who made concerted efforts to go the extra mile for me and distance myself for those who weren’t. And I’ve felt very empowered by that.

Another big lesson I learned in 2021 as well is that not everyone’s advice is healthy for me and more often than not, especially surrounding my health, has only led to greater confusion and frustration. I’ve worked far harder this year to stop talking about my health with people I meet, something I used to do regularly, because much of the advice I’ve received has regularly taken me into troubled waters and away from trusting in my Higher Guidance. I’ve come to really see that I need to trust more on my Higher Guidance and Inner Guidance than in the advice I receive from others.

A lesson that continues to repeat throughout my life that manifested again in 2021 was about realizing everyone is on a different spiritual path, at different paces, and that’s ok. I definitely tried to push others this year, especially my partner and a few other dear friends, on their spiritual journeys only to see the horns come out of their heads. A brother of mine in my men’s group always says that I have a deep insight to other’s paths, but that I often present steps on their paths too soon, and with force, which is only ever met with resistance. Thankfully, I did much better this year backing away from this behavior and have had a far better relationship with my partner and a few of my friends because of it.

A final lesson I want to mention that I learned in 2021 deals with addiction overall. Quite a few difficult things presented themselves this year that challenged me so much I thought about acting out in addiction in several ways. In the end, this was something to be thankful for because it reminded me that I am still very much the addict and I never want to let myself believe I could go back to old addictive behaviors without consequences.

Each of these lessons, and a few others I didn’t go into but are just as important, are all certainly things to have gratitude for on this Grateful Heart Monday. I truly learned a lot in 2021 and quite assuredly will have plenty more to learn in 2022 with lessons that may repeat themselves and new ones that may come my way as well. I am grateful for the spiritual growth I’ve made in life thus far and look forward to the growth I make in 2022 as well.

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson