So Christmas is now out of the way and a New Year is just about to begin… The holiday it creates often imposes a little bit of a forced break, as companies close down and many take some time out to spend with family and friends. This is a time where we will often (unconsciously) reflect on the type of Christmas we’ve had, the type of year we’ve had and without thinking, start to sow the seeds of where we’d like to be or what we’d like to have happened by next Christmas. A new year, like a birthday, is a milestone and also a time that we see to start afresh.
I personally feel it is important to reflect on what has happened in the past year, and especially important to face up to what we feel didn’t go as well as we would have liked to, as well as what we did well or even better than we thought. If you regularly read my blogs or have read my book, you will know that I am a strong believer of facing up to what you would prefer to ignore, as it only creates problems in the future.
I have certainly had to do that myself this year and I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of what has happened to me in 2017. I am a very open person but normally like to concentrate on the reader and therefore, don’t always reveal much of my personal life. I feel this is slightly different though and will inspire and comfort some of you that through adversity, we can turn the negatives into positives.
My year started with a miscarriage. The pregnancy was not planned but left me questioning life at length and genuinely grieving for the little being that could have been. A few weeks later, I was taken in for an emergency operation due to complications from said miscarriage. Without going into too many details, I was told I may have to face up to infertility. Whilst all this was ongoing, I ended up in a couple of dodgy situations where I managed to escape a sexual assault and 6 weeks later, run off from another 3 blokes, whose intentions were to ‘smash me in’ (I quote).
On a physical level, there were clear signs things were very untoward as the pain levels were steadily increasing, as was the size of my tummy. Looking pregnant was making the grieving even more difficult but also started to worry some hospital consultants who were concerned about ovarian cancer. I therefore had another operation, which ended up being far more extensive and invasive than originally anticipated. It was found that I was riddled with endometriosis and as some of my organs were deeply infiltrated, the decision was made to induce the menopause.
10 days after this op, I was supposed to be in London for a week, which involved speaking on a stage. As I was laying on the hospital bed at 2am, asking the nurse for another shot of morphine, I really did wonder how on earth I would do that when I couldn’t even get up… But I did it.
So the reason why I am sharing all of this with you is because I am doing what I am preaching, so I used the tools and techniques that I use with my clients and had to do the painful work, dealing with my hurt, anger or fears, and I am now able to help people better than I could with situations that I had not found myself in before.
All of these events were out of my control and I want to remind you all that’s often the case in an awful lot of situations. What I did though, and what you can do too, is to change the way you respond to these events.
There is nothing worse than being in limbo but to get the results you want, you need to face up to what hurts first and make decisions, otherwise nothing will have changed by this time next year. As Albert Einstein said, ‘if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got’.
So use the next few days to reflect the aspects of your life that you love or enjoy and how you can get more of them. Then, ascertain what you don’t like so much, what you have the power of changing in your own life and how you can use the low points of 2017 in a positive way. If you feel that you can’t change certain things, bear in mind that the constrictions that you feel are only put on by you, nobody else. And if you feel that life has been difficult this year, remember that the physics of a wheel. It goes down but it also always goes back up…