As the year comes to a close, could being our own best friend be the real gift of Christmas asks Bernadette Petrie.

Several years ago, I received a special gift when out walking on the beach with one of my dearest friends. We met as first-time expectant mothers when my husband and I lived on the west coast of Scotland and became friends as we birthed and bonded over many child-rearing moments. I was obviously giving myself a hard time because what she said stayed with me and was one of those pivotal comments that sent me on an inner enquiry. “Do you know what your problem is? You are your own worst enemy. 

Are you your own worst enemy? Is there really anyone who is meaner to you than you are to yourself? How do you talk to yourself? Refer to yourself? Push yourself? Treat yourself? Just how different would you feel if you loved and cherished who you are and accepted and loved everything about you, including your body, your voice, your everything? 

What if you loved and appreciated everything about you – as a human being. And if you loved and appreciated your actual body and reconsidered it as a vehicle to be cared for, rather than as all that you are? How you feel in the body, in the skin you are in, is all feedback, and the path will look brighter or duller depending on how tuned into your body you actually are. The feedback you are feeling and experiencing is a result of all your thoughts and the beliefs you currently hold onto. What you do with that feedback is entirely up to you. You get to choose every step of your earthbound way. Just as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz finally realised, this is your show, and you have all the guidance you will ever need right inside you. You can shape and create your reality by questioning all of your beliefs and thoughts. 

In the powerful life-changing moment alone in my room in the Priory, I was fully broken from the shackles of the thoughts and beliefs that had steered my entire life. And I can only conclude that I saw a glimpse of my truth. I saw who I truly was. However, it became clear that whilst I had been given a new perspective, something old was still very much playing in the background. I was yet to understand that there was much more for me to learn about taking responsibility for my own energy field and that I really need to demonstrate love and compassion to all parts of me. 

This is the challenge we all face at times. In this roller coaster called life, we are sometimes ahead, sometimes behind in the race against ourselves. But being our own best friend is the real essence of the Christmas message. It’s a time to pause and to celebrate our true divinity in human form. Maybe the best gift you will give to yourself and ultimately to others this Christmas whenever you need some reassurance is to look into the mirror and smile at who you see. Loving and cherishing the human who is doing the hard yards, day in and day out. With love until the next time.


You can buy Bernadette’s book and card deck online: www.thebarefootsanctuary.co.uk
Also available from: NØRDEN 82 High St, North Berwick.