As she approaches a big-birthday, Bernadette Petrie considers how she can be more true to herself.

As this goes to print I will be on the eve, so to speak, of my 50th birthday. I know there may well be some days ahead where I will lament the supposed loss of my youth but right now I’m sitting in wonder as to what my future might hold and feel excited about what the next decade and half century will reveal to me. I certainly didn’t know ten years ago that I would have become a life coach and writer!

So much of our lives, without us realising, are predetermined by thoughts that don’t necessarily feel good but yet we don’t question them. My concept of 50 is already proving to be very different from what I imagined, because I choose to let go of beliefs about my age that simply don’t feel good, and to look after my spirit as best I can by letting that essence guide me on.  

As each of us enter a new year we have a moment by moment choice of being true to ourselves or not. All of us doubt our worth, our importance, our impact – but the simple truth is that each and every one of us matter more than we know and without doubt we all make an impact. Those times when we are true to ourselves the more beautiful that impact will be. If we allow our conditioned beliefs and unquestioned thoughts to steer our behaviours the impact will more than likely be negative and we won’t be nearly as happy.

An important part of being more you is to heal wounds from the past that may be keeping you stuck. Part of this, for me, is about my name Bernadette (Bernie is the shortened version). Being brought up in Northern Ireland this name had a lot of political and religious associations in the 1970s and 80s which manifested badly for me in my teenage years. By the time I was 15 I refused to answer to Bernadette – I loathed how it sounded and believed it was holding me back from a colourful fun life. The truth, of course, was that it hurt to have people judge me, label me and reject me because of a name. My real motive for changing it was if I could reinvent myself as Bernie I would be free of all of those negative associations. With a new half century waiting for me not using my full name is not embracing and loving the small child that adored the name. She really liked it and it was who she was, and over the last few years it has begun so sound so different to my ears and feel more like me.

The self love work that I do and help others do involves healing emotional wounds layer-by-layer, letting go of who we are not and embracing parts of us stuck in the past. The scared youthful loving non-judgemental parts and the stubborn parts of our teenage selves will surely be fun companions as we adventure on.

What hidden parts of you, do you need to own and heal as you embrace 2019? Because being who you are and expressing yourself fully is the most precious gift you can give yourself and from there all good things will come.

With love until the next time

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