May your light shine in 2016

jody's NY 2016 sparkle message

It’s 11am on New Year’s Day 2016 here in India and last night I had a lovely time at a fancy hotel who had a fireworks display at midnight. I was struck by a deep sense of gratitude and joy for another year of this adventure called ‘my life’.

When I think back to the place of despair I was in 7 years ago when I realised (rather late at 44!) that I wasn’t going to be a mother, I could never have anticipated the extraordinary transformational journey my grief would take me on.

In many ways now, at 51, I feel like the person I was meant to be all my life. It hasn’t been easy and at one point (around 5 years ago) I felt there was really nothing left in my life to let go of, so tested was I by grief: children, husband, romance, friends, health, home, money, work, beliefs, hopes… it seemed no matter what I tried to cling onto from my ‘old life’, eventually I had to let it go.

I won’t lie, it wasn’t ‘fun’ and it didn’t feel like ‘transformation’ – it felt like every single thing in my life had gone to shit and I had absolutely no fucking idea how I was going to cope anymore. But underneath it all, eventually, there was something… I think of it as the diamond in the rubble and once everything not needed for the onwards voyage had been burnt away, slowly, she began to shine again. And since then, that light in me has got brighter and brighter and I recognise it as the part of me that I knew as a child before puberty. An optimistic, playful, creative soul who saw so much pain in the world, but so much joy too, and wanted to make a difference.

And here we all, making a difference to each other and who knows how your healing from the heartbreak of childlessness will evolve in your life, and how that healing will influence and inspire those around you.

Because, when we let our light shine, it always helps others too, sometimes in ways will we never know.

My heart is full of the joy and pain of each of us beautiful lights in the darkness. May we light each other’s way in 2016 with tenderness and sisterhood.

Happy New Year.

Love, Jody x

About Jody 93 Articles
JODY DAY is the British founder of Gateway Women, the global friendship and support network for childless women, and the author of 2016’s 'Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children'. A founding and board member at AWOC.org (Ageing Without Children), she’s a former Cambridge Judge Business School Fellow in Social Innovation, a TEDx speaker and a trainee integrative psychotherapist. Jody takes great pleasure in helping childless women get their groove back and find their tribe via the Gateway Women workshops, social media communities and live social meetups across the world. www.gateway-women.com
Contact: Website

21 Comments on May your light shine in 2016

  1. Thank you so much, Jody…I am 46 and have so much in common with you…in so many ways are now where you were at 46, and with a similar previous path. Thank you thank you thank you for letting me know I’m not alone in this journey.

    • Hi Laguli – I’m so glad that you don’t feel so alone with this anymore. It’s hard enough on its own, without feeling alone with it too. Hugs, Jody x

  2. “…the part of me I knew as a child…an optimistic, creative soul, who saw so much…” What beautiful, poetic words. Maybe that is why adults believe they have to have children; that somehow, as an adult they are not supposed to express themselves as such. So they think having children they can relive their childhood vicariously through them. Thus the burden. People forget the Biblical admonishment to “be as (trusting/innocent) as little children.” You may have stumbled upon something rather profound. Best to you and all in 2016.

    • Hi Barbara – thanks for commenting. And yes, I agree that perhaps one of our unconscious drivers to have children is to be ‘allowed’ to access that playful part of ourselves as adults. But it is possible (and indeed, very healthy!) to do so anyway. As Stuart Brown, a researcher in play has said: “The opposite of play isn’t work… it’s depression”. Hugs, Jody x

  3. Hi there Jody –

    Thanks for this post, a great way to start off the new year indeed! I’m glad you of all people got to have a “jump” on the new year so to speak by being in India. Here’s to enjoying your travels……

    I was most touched by “and who knows how your healing from the heartbreak of childlessness will evolve in your life, and how that healing will influence and inspire those around you.”

    In the muck of coping and processing I often forget that voicing it can help others too.

    XXOOSarah

    • Hi Sarah – Thanks for commenting and I’m so glad my words touched you. Your own writing has, no doubt, helped SO MANY women coming to terms with life after infertility. I find your writing informative, honest and often very funny indeed – and finding humour in the darkness is a real gift both to ourselves and others. I wish you a good year of getting through the ‘muck’ and out the other side. Hugs, Jody x

  4. Happy new year! I thank you for your inspirational posting, Jody! Your very honest personal insights and experiences always give me courage to continue to enjoy my life on the earth. I would love to meet with you in person someday at one of your conferences. Wow, I just made my new year’s resolution!!

  5. Happy New Year, Jody! I think you are right about the dormant diamond in the rough inside. It takes awhile to trust her and not the social messages about who we “should” be. I hope 2016 is a great year for you!

    • Hi Maria – and a very Happy New Year to you too! May your diamond shine in 2016 too! Love your work and I hope that your new book does really well. Hugs, Jody x

  6. Happy New Year Jody. Your post was inspiring both to me and my husband. We too are beginning to enjoy the adventure of our lives again after years of grief and heartbreak. Blessed be. Xxx

    • Hi Diane – so happy to hear that you are your husband are coming through the dark times. Thinking of you and all the dear GWs in the North of England and I hope that you are coping with the floods. Hugs, Jody x

  7. Happy New Year Jody and thank you for such a warm and inspiring post to start the year with. The analogy of a diamond in the rubble brought tears to my eyes and realising the “old parts of us” that need to be shed for the new to come through.

    A big hug to Anna. I know what it feels like to have talked yourself round and yes your going to be mindful, other person focused etc etc only to have it all come crashing down and realise that you need to bail.

    Onwards and upwards. Brave new worlds!
    xxx

  8. Happy New Year to you Jody – and thank you for all you have done and do to light the way forward. You are an inspiration and hope to me.

  9. Hurray for you. I left a party early last night as i was surrounded by mothers of babies, small children and mothers to be. . I tried to be gracious and mindful and not feel sorry for myself but then ate some wheat, drank too much wine to fill the hole, bloated up in pain (and looked 4 months pregnant)and just needed to get the hell outta there! Home to my loving dog with his soft ears and into bed with my book. I tried, but it was all a bit much. But i forgive myself for bailing, afterall I chose to leave. bring on 2016 and whatever it has in store xx

    • Hi Anna – a noble effort! Gatherings with lots of mothers and children can be so very hard, I’m impressed you gave it a try. I’ve found New Year’s Eve to be a disappointing holiday most years, and I usually try to stay home and use it as a more reflective moment, so it was nice for me to change it up. Being in India rather than cold London was lovely too. I hope you have a lovely day today and for the rest of 2016. Hugs, Jody x

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