We hold the holidays in high regard. The expectations are incredible, from family showing up and getting along to everyone having gifts to open. The tree must be just right, someone has to be in charge, a perfect dinner arranged and no one is supposed to worry about the finances. Those are just the generic ones. Every family is different and each one has even more expectations. I spent all day thinking about what to write about. I knew I needed to write but wasn’t sure what to focus on. Now it’s clear.
I love Christmas. I enjoy going all out, decorating everything, getting everyone well thought out gifts, cooking dinner and watching die hard and a Christmas Story. I have been pretty blessed in previous years, everyone put their personal stuff to the side for the sake of family. This is not one of those years. My truth…is that my mother and sister are estranged, my boyfriend and I are at a major crossroads, my pseudo step kids think I’m the devil incarnate, one of my friends thinks I’m inconsiderate and I’m sicker than a dog. My father and I are sharing the holiday together, both sick, unable to visit anyone with no tree or decorations. My expectations are destroyed and I’ve spent most of the day in total despair. In walk the evil minions…or gremlins as Brene Brown calls them. They are the voices in your head that tell you you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not strong enough, not pretty enough. You are not worthy of love and belonging. Those evil minions can be engaged simply by a comment someone says to you, but when shit really hits the fan their voices are all you will hear. For the last 5 days that’s all I heard. I’m sick, exhausted, beat up and kicked on the ground.
I could name all the reasons for my pain. Not being able to see the kids faces as they open the gifts we picked out so thoughtfully together is one at this moment. That was my choice, albeit a difficult one. The universe has insisted on my current solitary reflection. Sometimes, it is as necessary as the air we breathe. Never, ever, settle on your morals and your boundaries. I’m not saying be a martyr either, that always seems to lead to death. But if you want to attain peace and happiness as badly as I do then you must stand firmly and bravely in the face of negativity, blame and projection. I will not allow myself to develop a cloak of shame because someone else wants to blame me for their past. I am brave, I am worthy. I am a good person and work hard to nurture the relationships close to me. I am not someone else’s judgements or pain. I am not my past but the possibilities of my future. I am resilient and what is difficult today will strengthen me tomorrow.
No one can hurt me without my permission ~ Ghandi
Be very careful who you listen to when you allow their words to define your character. Very few are capable of pointing out things that truly help you to grow as a person. Most, in fact, will project their weaknesses, or self perceived flaws, onto you. Maybe they will misjudge you’re motives for having ill intent. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone has the best intentions and not everyone is good natured. Sometimes you may really need someone to put you’re butt back in line. I’m grateful for those moments. I’m strong willed and don’t always listen but I know when to admit I was wrong.
I found myself recently questioning who I was. My intentions were good. I wanted to provide stability, space for new roles, boundaries and love. Get to know who you are on your own. Self reflection and self love will carry you further than you can imagine. Not everyone knows how to love unconditionally, I’m still a padawan. Mastery of the force still eludes me. Not everyone will be considerate, patient and gentle with your shame triggers. Some people will purposefully summon your evil minions. Not everyone is a trusted friend. You are lucky if you have one, and very blessed if you have more. By listening to yourself you can be the one who decides what you need to work on and what you don’t. So, this holiday, release some of those heavy expectations, know you are doing you’re very best and appreciate every moment you have with family and friends. Merry Christmas. XOXO