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Myth: New year, new you

Happy 2023, friends! I'm a sucker for a fresh start and none is quite so fresh as a new year. But I have come to be quite skeptical of the myth of "New Year, New You" mentality, the belief that your old self wasn't good enough and a newer, fitter, prettier, shinier, smarter, more organized self will, somehow, be better...and by "better" we mean more worthy of love, compassion and connection.

I. DON'T. BUY. IT.

When we believe this myth, we end up in a race, trying to outrun parts of ourselves we don't like: the parts that bring up shame or embarrassment, the parts that embody our longings or our disappointments or maybe it's the parts that tell a story we don't want to own. Whatever these parts are, we think that if we reject them and replace them with something newer or shinier, we won't have to feel them, we won't have to face them. We think that if we "fix" ourselves, maybe we can avoid pain now and in the future. These ideas, though, put us in a hamster wheel where we never feel "enough" and are always chasing the new version of the new thing. But all the things we are running from come with us and eventually catch up to us in one way or another.

There's a difference between goals that grow us and add to our repertoire of awesomeness....and resolutions that start with the belief that we are broken or somehow incomplete.

If you haven't heard it yet this year, let me be the first to tell you: Who you are is enough. The way you were made, all your experiences and wounds, your humor, your pain, your joy, your past, your present...everything that makes you who you are is enough to make you worthy of love and compassion both from others and from yourself.

Instead of running for the "new" version of yourself, I want to challenge us all to look deeply at the goals we are making this year and whether they come from a place of compassion and grace towards ourselves, or whether they come from a desire to outrun what's chasing us. If we are trying to outrun something, let's have the courage to face it, embrace it and try to understand it so that we can stop running and start living.

So, as you're setting goals in this new year, I'm challenging all of us to do it with a sense of gentleness and compassion for where we are and all we have lived through up to today. Make this the year of change with self compassion and take it one day at a time. You'll be glad you did.


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