At one point I dreamt I was being taken to the airport on a stretcher. That the only way my husband was going to get me back to London was via any means that allowed me to remain horizontal whilst being transported.
It was New Year’s Day in Paris, and I slept right through it. I was so tired from the days before and from traveling and from being out until the early hours of that morning, that in my few moments of consciousness, I couldn’t even speak. All I did that day was sleep, and it was perfect. I’d been caught up living and loving life, and when you do that with your whole heart, eventually the need to rest has a way of catching up with you.
It may have been the first day of a shiny New Year, but I was content to let it slip by without the usual pressing need to mark it in some special way. That’s because I’m approaching this year differently.
So often in the past I’ve felt the pressure of a seemingly endless stream of messages telling me that this New Year is my chance to change and to finally fix whatever may be broken. There are books and courses and diets and programs and lists of things we can do to become smaller, smarter, richer and to ‘have it all,’ as if we’re currently falling short, and that this New Year is the one when we’ll finally get to make up for it.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for self-improvement and for chasing dreams and taking leaps of faith. But we don’t need to wait for a New Year to do that. Each day the sun goes down, it leaves us with the promise of a new dawn and a fresh start.
The biggest problem I have is that so often we make fresh starts from a place of lack, when we would be better off starting from a place of abundance. When we do this, we don’t look back and beat ourselves up for past mistakes, or believe that everything about us is wrong, so we need to be put right, but rather we say, “I am enough.”
When we believe we are enough, we’re choosing to believe we are worthy of the things we desire and – importantly – that we’re more than capable of helping others who may need us, because we know we can be strong for them too. Our self-worth is no longer attached to the moment when we’re finally ‘fixed,’ because we know we’re not broken.
Yes, we still have flaws and make mistakes, but we’re not being driven to improve because we feel we’re lacking, but because it comes from a place of love.
So this New Year I’ve said, “I am enough.” I’m embracing the woman I am now, flaws and all. This year I’m only committing to what I can realistically achieve rather than trying to please everyone and wearing myself out. I’m only eating to nourish my body, not to lose weight. I’m only exercising for health and happiness, not to be thin. I’m only wearing clothes that make me feel radiant, not to fit in. I will write the stories I want to share, rather than waiting until the day I feel worthy of being a writer. I will allow myself to be the woman I admire, because I know she’s already inside me. She doesn’t need to be a certain size, shape or to have ticked off a list of achievements before she’s ‘allowed’ to show up.
Neither do you.