I’ve spoken to many people about the last year, and I’ve heard a common theme. It was hard. It was terrible. It was trying. There was sadness, loss, and grief. It seems 2017 brought with it something else as well…. lessons.

I was not immune to the relative chaos that reigned through 2017. I went through my own traumas, changes, grief, loss, and of course lessons. For myself, one of the biggest lessons was about making space.

I know we’ve all heard this – make space and something good or better will take its place. Doing it however, making the changes necessary is the real challenge. Make space I did though, in more ways than one.

I went through some challenges with my daughter. She was angry with me and didn’t want to speak to me for several months. It was devastating, but when I asked her what she needed from me she asked for space. So I gave it to her. I didn’t contact her again until she contacted me, which she eventually did, and the wait wasn’t as excruciating as I thought it would be. The lesson there was patience and respect for her feelings.

I had some health problems that carried over from 2016, and by February 2017 I was having my gall bladder removed after many months of horrible pain. Finally, I had a diagnosis and a decision. The lesson there was on perseverance.

And then the biggest change reared its head; my relationship of ten years was finally at its end. A situation forced my hand and I resolved myself that the time had come to end this relationship and move. It was terrifying and yet the lesson here was about my self worth, which I had always struggled with since childhood.

I could no longer stand quiet and allow myself to be treated in anything less than how I deserved to be; with kindness, love, and respect. So I stood up, closed the door, and moved forward. I also did something for myself; I asked the universe for what I truly wanted. A few short weeks later, it delivered. The lesson here of course was about understanding I deserved better. I had kept the bar quite low and it was time to raise it high.

In the space I made, a new love entered. One that is everything I asked for; kindness, respect, love, compassion, humour, health and just for good measure, beauty. The kind of beauty that radiates from the person’s soul and shines through their eyes and smile. It has been five months since I met this woman and I am genuinely happy. Make space, and happiness really does find its way inside.