December 31, 2012


i've been thinking a lot about my word for 2013 but i noticed that some form of forgiveness kept coming up.

finally i realized that forgive(n) was the word for 2012. i hadn't chosen one at the start and in reflection i'd considered the words expansion or open but the heart-opening experiences i had this year were simply the side-effects of all the forgiveness going on.

one of the main takeaways from my "kinda" catholic upbringing is praying the rosary, especially the our father (also known as the lord's prayer) and especially this one line that comes to mind quite often:

forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

i feel like the entirety of christ's message is one of love and peace and quite similar to buddhist tenets of non-attachment and non-judgment. this is where most christians and i disagree but i think the pinnacle of christ's teachings lies in doing unto others and turning the other cheek.

in forgiving.

that's it.

this summer i set along the path of forgiveness. i knew it was necessary and re-reading you can heal your life really helped the path unfold before me. hay's suggestion that we don't have to know how to forgive, we just have to know that we want to was instrumental in accepting traumas and slights and moving forward with love and acceptance in my heart.

this year i also let go of  lot of things that no longer serve me, dysfunctional and obligatory relationships included but not without some residual guilt. whether we mended our relationship or walked away i feel nothing but love for the other people involved.

i know we've all done what we could with what we had but i wasn't making a conscious effort to fully accept this about myself and forgive myself. this weekend, the word "forgiven" kept getting in the way of my word for the upcoming year. i had the house to myself and used the silence to write and reflect.

the familiar waves of softening heart came rushing over me and self-blame, guilt, and sadness started to wash away. an unwavering faith in myself filled me and on an exhale i felt at peace with being forgiven.

many religious epithets and cliches soon filled my head. i even contrasted it, briefly, with my experience of being "born again" at age ten (oh, i could write a book about baptist sunday schools in the 80s) which, to this day, has never been anything other than humorous.

i choose to honor the divine in each of us and reject the idea of sin but it was still powerful to sit with the knowledge that i forgive and am forgiven.

born-again vibe aside, i'm considering a forgive(n) tattoo.
possibly with the recurring balloon/anchor which is an entire story unto itself.

2013 will mark ten hard but wonderful years of consciously being the change. having let go of so much, i'm easing into the new year with the words mindfulness and peace by my side.

what is your word going forward into 2013? what was your word for 2012, whether you had one at the outset or found one in reflection?

this blog post is now part of a blog hop with several creative women from across the globe who participated in kelly rae robert's  flying lessons e-course in 2011. they were gracious enough to invite the 2012 class to join in their blog hop! to check-out some more amazing posts about the 2013 Word of the Year, click here. 


  1. This is beautiful Valeri... thanks so much for sharing. You've also inspired me to get out my copy of You Can Heal Your Life again! xxx

    1. thank you, caroline. it's such a good book, i gave mine to a friend a few months ago but found another beautiful copy of the fully-illustrated one at goodwill last week so, i'm reading it again ;)

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Valeri! As always, I love reading your blog posts.

    Forgive (n) is such a powerful word. I wish all the best for you moving forward in 2013!

    I'll reveal my words on the 2nd. Thanks so much for being a flying sister!

    1. thanks, becky...i need to go peek in at your blog because post-holiday busy-ness was swiftly followed by getting sick (how are you feeling these days, btw?) and i'm a bit behind ;)

  3. Love this post of yours! Truly forgiving is such a hard thing to accomplish.

    It's almost like you have to be enlightened to do it fully or is it that you are enlightened when you finally reach forgiveness.
    Now did that make sense?

    Many blessings to you :-)

    1. it makes total sense, lisa. i ask myself that often,'s like the chicken and the egg, maybe? it's a balance, it goes back and forth...i'm not sure being enlightened is a fully attainable, always sustainable way of being but i think that through forgiveness we're well on our way ;)

  4. Hi Valerie, great post. This is beautiful.

    You have been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Please check out my blog for the information.

    Warmly, Ginger

    1. thank you SO much, ginger!!! this was such a wonderful surprise. i will follow-up and nominate some other bloggers in the next few weeks. i meant to respond to you a few days ago but i only peek in here for a minute sometimes (note to self: start scheduling regular blog-comment-time).

  5. What a true and inspiring post, Valeri. Forgiven is a powerful and beautiful word. Warm and loving blessings to you in the new year!

    My word is renaissance. I will let go of the old, and move into a time of innovation, inspiration, and creative prosperity.

    1. oh, i love your word, wendy! so powerful, i envision the birthing aspect that always comes after clearing the old. i've been doing much of that, too, with more to come. blessings!

  6. Great post, Valeri. We should all practice the art of forgiveness. It is so freeing and cleansing. I grew up in a Baptist household, so know exactly what you're talking about re:Sunday school. :)

    1. ha! good...i was wondering if anyone could possibly know what i was talking about. my mom wasn't baptist but she let me ride the bus that would pick up all the kids in the low-income neighborhoods. such a different world we live in now (though i visited a baptist church for a college project once and it was much the same).

      here's to more freedom and cleansing!

      blessings to you ;)

  7. Forgiveness was my word for 2012. It is such an important gift - to others, and to ourselves. Lots of luck to you this year as you embark on this journey of forgiving.


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