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Learning to Be On Your Own Side

If I could capture in a single image how it feels to be on my own side, I would use this one of me with my baby tortoise, Malti.
If I could capture in a single image how it feels to be on my own side, I would use this one of me with my baby tortoise, Malti.

I am always in awe right around this time of year.

This is because I realize: a) a whole year has just gone by, and b) a whole new year is just about to arrive.

Wow. When did all this happen?!

But in recent years my awe has increased as I’ve realized I am no longer looking to a fresh new year to solve all the issues and problems the tired old year didn’t get around to dealing with.

I no longer wake up on January 1st, New Year’s Day, hoping and expecting a miracle to have unfolded overnight.

This is because the miracle has already occurred – and it happened a long time ago. 

The miracle occurred when I decided that, if I was going to have to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with myself anyway, I wanted to be someone fun to hang out with!

Then I realized, I also wanted to be someone trustworthy….someone kind….someone supportive….someone mentoring….someone encouraging who continues to see the best in me, even (and especially) on my worst days.

In the very moment I made this decision, it began to happen.

In moments when I needed support, I found myself standing by my own side. In moments when criticism came at me, I was the one helping myself separate out what I needed to learn from the basic essence of who I am.

In moments of loss, I found myself hovering, eager to provide comfort. In moments of joy, I found in myself an equally eager celebrant.

This changed everything. It made life feel like LIFE, not just like existing.

It made being me a gift, a source of gratitude, a continual wonderment, a being I wanted to be.

It can do the same for you. And learning to be on your own side…well, this is the key.

Happy New Year!

Today’s Takeaway: As another New Year approaches, what are your hopes? Wishes? Plans? What are you grateful for – what miracles have already occurred that you take with you into the new year? 

p.s. This post is excerpted from my monthly free ezine, Good News for Recovery + Life.

Learning to Be On Your Own Side

Shannon Cutts

Freelance writer. Author. Cockatiel, redfoot tortoise & box turtle mama.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2019). Learning to Be On Your Own Side. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Dec 2019
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