3 Things 2014 Tried To Teach Us But Couldn’t

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Shireen Chaya-Mahdi Relationships

I left just as quickly as I came. It seems like just yesterday, I heard your voice calling to me as you joyfully counted down; “10, 9, 8…”, welcoming me with joyful music and fireworks. I felt the hope in your smile and the butterflies in your stomach as you whispered to yourself “This is going to be the year I make my dreams come true”. You swore to yourself that this time, it would be different; that the promises you made to yourself will remain sacred. You asked that I bring you a smaller waist and a bigger bank account, more love and less heartbreak, countless friends and have you wake up every day to the job of your dreams. But today I heard you getting ready to ask the same things of the year to come as though I had left you empty handed. And so my gift to you before I become a distant memory is to share with you the secrets to getting all that you want.

I want you to know that I, like all the years before me, and those that will come after me were ready to be the year of “you” and came filled with countless gifts you hadn’t asked for – many of which you tossed aside because the wrapping wasn’t quite what you imagined.



Remember that excruciating headache you had? The breathlessness you felt when running up the stairs? The way you were anything but happy after a happy meal? Those were my gifts to you! You asked for a smaller number on weighing scales and dress tags, but forgot to ask for health.

I brought you those moments as reminders of what it would be to lose your health, so you may do all it takes to keep it. You may have wanted a better wrapping paper for the gift that is your body, but not this year. Instead of resolving to change what it looks like on the outside, commit to loving yourself enough on the inside and listen to your body.


Remember that day you came back from work/school carrying the world’s misery on your shoulders? That was the gift of awareness. I wanted you to hear the minutes of your life as you passed them by on the racetrack. You think the race is towards money and that job you loathe is the way to joy.

I brought you those moments so you could slow down and evaluate what you were chasing and whether it was worth it. I was hoping you would see that the real race lies in fulfilling your inner purpose – the reason you are here. So, drop the sprint towards wealth and find out what you have to give – you, of a billion possible lives – and priceless serenity will follow. Here’s a clue: when you feel joy doing something without being paid for it, that’s when you know you’ve found your life’s purpose.



And I also brought you the gift of love. You asked for the love of a partner and countless friends but I gave you so much more. Remember that lady who served your coffee with a smile and an extra biscuit? How about the annoying man you know who won’t stop asking you out? And by the way, did you ever call your grandmother back?

You see, the gift of love is the trickiest of them all. It is in more than red roses and Facebook posts. It is more than a dinner date or a birthday party. You can only receive love when you give it, but here is the catch; you are to love selflessly, unconditionally, and continuously. The more difficult it is to give, the greater the reward. This time, don’t ask for love to come to you and do not seek it for yourself. Rather, try to find within your heart the power to give love to the most unexpected people. That’s how the gift of love works – in the ability to love.


And so, as you make way to welcome another year, I leave you with these words:

You were born with potential,with goodness and trust,with ideals and dreams.You were born with greatness.You were born with wings.You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.You have wings,learn to use them and fly. 

And so let 2015 be the year you find your wings again and fly.

With much love,