Well that year zoomed by!
After the anticipation and chaos of the festive season, the excitement of having our two beautiful daughters home with us for Christmas and welcoming in the new year, I'm now sat with a cup of coffee reflecting on the events of the past year. Christmas for me, always heightens the awareness of those we have loved and lost, whether this is through bereavement or lost relationships.
As Christmas cards dropped onto the mat, taking into consideration the cost of buying and sending cards, I realise that friendships that once dominated my life and felt so important have ebbed away as life changes and choices are made. It has taken me a number of years to realise that some people are only meant to be in our lives for a short period of time, they can enhance it or help us to learn from the relationship, whether positively or otherwise. I used to believe that having lots of friends was what I needed, that it somehow validated me and I was liked. I now realise that it is not the number of friends that is important, it is knowing which ones are there for you during the difficult times as well as the good, no judgement, just genuine friendship . Quality over quantity.
As many people start the new year vowing to make and keep New Years resolutions, I have decided that this year I am not going to do this as such. Having discussed it with my youngest daughter; instead of me committing to losing weight, drinking less, going to the gym weekly etc, I will make a promise to myself - we talked about learning to say yes and no. Learning to accept and love who we are, the good and the not so good bits. Being empowered to say yes to the things we want to do without fear of upsetting other people, yes to new adventures and yes to putting ourselves first. With that comes the ability to say no for the exact same reasons; to learn and value ourselves, we are the only person who can really make the right decisions for ourselves. We cannot decide how other people perceive, accept or don't accept our decisions, that is down to them and something that they need to work through for themselves. We all have a choice and with those choices come consequences. We need to learn to have strength and belief in our abilities. Those who truly want the best for us will (hopefully and eventually) realise that we do have the ability to make the right choices for ourselves (it's ok that these may differ from what they think or believe), and even if these choices don't work out as we hoped, planned or anticipated the journey of gaining knowledge, courage, strength and belief in ourselves is invaluable. You'll always end up where you need to be.
Happy New Year to you; and a message to our two daughters ‘Remember you are braver than you believe, Stronger than you seem, Smarter than you think and Loved more than you’ll ever know.’
I am a counsellor who wants to empower individuals to be the best version of themselves.