Something has shifted deeply within me after sitting with my holiday pain. For the first time in my life, I understand fully not just THAT I should listen to myself but HOW I can listen to myself. We know we should listen to ourselves and our needs. I tell you to do this. I tell myself to do this. Our therapists tell us this is vital. But only out of this huge cracking open during the holidays do I finally see for the very first time how I might actually live each day by thinking “What do I want right now? What would feel best for me right now? How can I do this thing in a way that feels good for me?” This may sound so obvious (and it is, it really is) but only in the past 24 hours have I begun to actually understand this at a cellular level.

As a girl who was told repeatedly by her alcoholic mother that I was “selfish”, can you imagine how revolutionary this feels to me? To wake each day and check in with myself and see what I need and what I want? MADNESS. SO SELFISH. And yet: I know it is the only way. I have to listen very carefully to myself each day, throughout each day and do exactly what my heart is telling me. I trust that life will flow as it should the moment I listen carefully and act accordingly.

I’m not one for big recaps of the year that was or bold plans for the year ahead. But this year, I’m making myself a single promise. I’m going to ask myself “What would feel best for me in this moment?” and “What do I need?” and I’m going to listen and do those very things. I’m going to mother myself this year. And put myself first ahead of all others (yes! even this “I’ll put myself last” people-pleaser!) Every. Single. Day. Of. The. Year.

I cannot wait to see what living a life I actively choose will look like and feel like. It already feels far less heavy.