I don’t like to complain. I try to acknowledge–and can sometimes even embrace– all the struggles in my life, but complaining rarely, if ever, feels productive. As a matter of fact, one of my favorite expressions is, “c’est la vie.” It’s french for, “that’s life.” I say it a lot. It’s my way of accepting whatever is going on, knowing that the more I fight what is, whether it’s good or bad, the more I strengthen any negative feelings.

I have had a few dark moments this year–moments where pushing through was hard. Life has a way of dishing out the unexpected, daring us to either deal with it or fall apart. I have been able to deal, and deal well. I have made a few mistakes–some that I will be paying for in the coming months–but mistakes are not meant to break us. Mistakes occur so we can learn a lesson. I have learned my lesson. Actually, I have learned many.

Now because I make mention of the dark moments I faced in 2014, it does not mean I am unaware of the many blessings I experienced this year. As a matter of fact, the blessings brought immense joy because because of the pain that was present. Every blessing reminded me that God is good. Every blessing reminded me that I didn’t let the dark moments break me.

I don’t know where you currently are in your life, but I am certain darkness has appeared at some point. You may be in the midst of it right now–feeling like the light will never show up. As this year comes to an end and you prepare for a new one, I hope you can remember that pushing through the darkness is what makes life so wonderful. When things show up, attempting to break you, don’t let them. You can fall to your knees if you need to (I know I have), but do not allow yourself to break.

And no matter what life brings your way, do not even think about entering a new year feeling hopeless. There is always hope. You just have to reach for it. It can be hard, and sometimes you need help with the fight, but that’s okay. Help is out there–you just have to ask for it. And if you don’t know where to get help, drop me a line. I will do what I can to point you in the right direction.

I am hoping these last few days of 2014 treat you well, and I hope you enter 2015 knowing that no matter how dark the night may get, the sun will always rise (thank you for that reminder, Oprah).

Wishing you nothing but greatness and peace in the New Year!