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“As hard as I tried and as hard as I worked, I never really achieved the level that I wished.”

It’s hard to believe this quote is from superstar designer Vera Wang, a woman who knows a lot about success.

She recalls her years as an ice skater: “It was a very hard realization that since I was in my late teens, I was never going to get better. I wasn’t going to make the Olympic team, and there were younger skaters coming up. So I quit. And I think quitting was a sign to me that I failed. I didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to find something else in my life that meant quite as much. I knew no other life. There was no other reality for me.”

Has 2015 left you feeling bewildered? Are you looking around at the rubble and wondering where you will find your other life, your other reality? The December series, No End to Love, looks at letting go with grace.

When we talk about letting go, the usual suspects are easy to name – a relationship, a job, a home. But what about the intangibles that create just as much heartache?

For Vera Wang, stepping away from a sport she loved, as well as years of time and effort, seemed catastrophic. However, cutting her losses was the smartest decision she could have made.

You may be thinking, “How can it be smart to abandon your passion?” Consider the outcomes if she had continued to hold on tightly. She could have had a traumatic, even life-altering injury. Her self-esteem would have undoubtedly taken a hit as she watched younger, more talented skaters have success. And she could have fallen into a life-long habit of doubting her instincts.

Vera Wang remains philosophical about her ups and downs. She says, “No matter how bad things get, no matter how discouraged I feel, no matter how much of a failure I feel like – and that applies to motherhood, friendship, everything – I try to believe there’s a reason, there’s a process, and there’s a learning experience. Maybe the journey is where I gained wisdom, where I gained confidence, a sense of reality, a sense of creativity.”

Is the Universe trying to give you a gift that you refuse to open? Perhaps making hard choices will give you fresh self-confidence. Finally taking off the rose colored glasses about your too high expectations could allow the clarity you’ve been seeking. Or letting that disagreement go before it snowballs into a grudge might give you wisdom you’ll use for the rest of your life.

You may be leaving this year with a few bumps and bruises, just like figure skaters. Still, envision the freedom you’ll feel by releasing circumstances or relationships which have been draining your heart and mind for months. Most importantly, forgive yourself for letting a long overdue decision linger. You’ll see the red flags and warning signs the next time around.

Insight. Courage. Wisdom. Are you ready to receive the gifts that matter this holiday season?