Why Was 2019 Such a Painful Year?

There’s no doubt that for many of us 2019 brought difficulty, hardship, and pain. But why was 2019 so painful? I have an idea:


Growth is painful, plain and simple.

My theory is this: 2019 was painful because we were growing. Maybe not physically growing, but there is no doubt that every one of us had a transformative year in terms of our emotional, mental, and/or spiritual growth and that growth was painful.

We may not see or be at the final stages of this growth but it has been a huge influence over the past 12 months. Even seemingly negative or difficult things that have come to the surface are doing so be be cleared out and make room for our new, developed state of being. Growth is painful but it also bring us to happier, healthier stages of our lives.


Did you experience growth pains as a kid? For many elementary school aged kids, pain in the limbs and joints are common during his period when physical growth hits another spurt. As a society, we have accepted that kids feel these aches and pains as a result of their physical growth (even though science is still on the fence).

It strikes me that we are accepting of the pain associated with physical growth but not the pain associated with emotional, mental, or spiritual growth.



In terms of numerology, 2019 was a ‘3’ year. Why ‘3’? First, we add the digits of the year (2+0+1+9=12), then we reduce that sum to a single digit (1+2=3). Other ‘3’ years include 2010, 2001, 1992, and 1983. ‘3’ years tend to bring on challenges, call us to new forms of expression, and bring heartfelt insights.

Some challenges in 2019 we pushed through seemingly effortlessly and others pushed back, hard. It was a mixed bag but there were absolutely wins to be celebrated even if they felt overshadowed by the rougher roads. This did a number on how we felt and talked about ourselves and weighed heavily in our hearts. It was easy to slip into unhealthy spaces. Knowing that we did have good things going on and were making positive strides somehow made us feel like the lows were an absolute failure and a false sense of shame began to creep in. This shame kept us low because we know how high we can truly fly, it only felt out of reach.

‘3’ is also the number of creativity. For many of us that embrace creative ventures, there was a palpable inundation of ideas that flowed all year long. While it is wonderful to feel inspired and connected with your muse, the absolute overflow of ideas was incredibly difficult to manage leaving us feeling overwhelmed and unable to put our ideas into motion. We had all the intentions and plans our hearts could imagine but couldn’t seem to either get things off the ground or find the finish line. Our minds swirled and our creativity started to feel like a burden.


We can also find overlap between our ‘3’ year and our Third Chakra, the throat, represented with the color blue. This is our communication center both physically and energetically. Having a focus on how and what we communicate was a bit daunting as we struggled to fully articulate what was bubbling up in our overflowing minds. Many of us sought out new tools to communicate with mixed results. With so many voices and ways to hear those voices, it was easy to feel lost in the shuffle and heard but not listened to. Your voice is valuable, even when others cannot or chose not to hear it.


The number 3 always sparks images of trifectas for me. Looking back on 2019, the trio of Past, Present, & Future seem to resonate as the guiding force. We were asked to look back on where we’ve been, evaluate where we are, and plan for the future. This is a great process but we often felt like we had to do all 3 of these things at the same time.

Take a moment to think of what other trio or trifecta resonates with you and how your 2019 can be reflected in that trio/trifecta. Here are a few examples:

  • Sacred Geometry: triangles
  • 3 primary colors: red, blue, yellow
  • Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone
  • Holy Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit
  • Stages of being: birth, life, death
  • Measure of time: beginning, middle, end



If you’re feeling a little beat up, the idea of saying buh-bye to 2019 probably sounds pretty good right about now. That’s okay! 2019 was a tough one and having a clear end point can absolutely bring on a bit of relief and breathing room. The key to transitioning into 2020 is not starting over but moving forward. For better or worse, what has happened has happened and we cannot go back. As we welcome 2020 it is important to focus on what we learned, the skills we refined, the new tools we gained, and the progress we made.

It may not feel like it now, but yes, there are things to celebrate and honor from 2019. Lets be honest for a second; it is easier to point out the negative, especially in retrospect. Maybe it’s based in our survival instinct so we don’t repeat mistakes that would make us vulnerable or put us in danger. Even if there is a ‘reason’ for it, put in the extra thought to look past the hiccups and hurdles to find the highlights and hope. You did great things and accomplished huge tasks; celebrate the year you had.

Wishing you a 2020 filled with love and joy, Kristen

4 thoughts on “Why Was 2019 Such a Painful Year?

  1. hi lovely, your thought about being ok with physical growing pains but having a hard time accepting emotional, and mental pains is spot on. thank you for that

    1. Thank you Karin! I’m optimistic that the more we talk about our emotional, mental, and spiritual health the more accepted and understood it will become. Hope you have a bright and beautiful 2020!

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