Most of us had a nice Thanksgiving. I know I did. I spent time with my granddaughters and my daughter and son in law (have I mentioned how much I adore my son in law?). My oldest sister joined us along with some of my son in law’s family. It was a huge celebration with many children and much Love and Joy.
But for most of us — myself included — the holidays also stir up our ‘Stuff’.
Humans are complex beings. We hold within us both Light and Darkness. We cannot go into any event/season/celebration without acknowledgment of both of our dimensions. Not doing so dooms us to misery.
My childhood was complicated and lonely. The overreaching theme of abandonment played throughout much of it. Years of therapy have helped me tone that symphony down to just a note or two here and there. But you know exactly when those notes get played, of course?
Yep. Holidays. Birthdays. Or any other warm fuzzy events when I am brutally reminded by The Voices of my own lack. It can be no one’s fault and in truth — it is. Life happens.
Reconciliation of your Life events is slow. Even when you think you have done it all and are good — a stone will get turned over and BAM! Well — Hell — where did that shit come from!
And there you are, in the midst of this lovely celebration — laughing on the outside, but hurting a bit on the inside for something you’re not even sure you should be pissed off about anymore. Because after all — it’s Thanksgiving…or Christmas. Or — Insert Happy Joyfilled Event Here…
The Holidays give everyone a pass. Peace on Earth and mistletoe and ‘kisses for pretty girls’ — as Lucy told Schroeder…like it or not. So suck it up Inner Landscape and just Kiss Lucy. No matter what.
How can we be true to ourselves and our lived experiences and still celebrate this magical time of year with the people who ARE important to us? How can we soothe our Inner Child when she throws her temper tantrums over all the hurts she’s felt over all her bad holiday experiences over all years of all Her Life? How can we not make more painful experiences for ourselves and our loved ones?
The Past must surely stay put or else your Now is completely fucked. That is a vital lesson if you ever want to feel any semblance of Peace. The Now must count more than The Past, more than the hurts, more than the slights, more than disagreements, more than every other thing. More. Than. Every. Other. Damn. Thing.
Soothing the irrational Inner Child takes a lot of effort, but anchoring yourself to The Now is a key component in the reality check in this tool box. It also helps to realize — you are not alone in this place. Every one in the room with you is fighting this same battle with their Past. The struggle is real.
Knowing this it makes these questions all the more vital. In this Now — what is truly happening? Is Peace being extended? Is Joy happening? Is Love walking through the door?
Our perspective is always subjective. Every single word spoken to us can be taken any way we choose. We can choose to hear the challenge, the disagreement, the reminder of Past Wrongs. Or we can choose to hear the extension of love, forgiveness, connection, curiosity, hospitality — Love.
Life is an echo. We can offer what we want to receive.
This year on my Wish List is Joy, Peace, & Love. So those gifts are what I’m giving, no matter what.
Because Santa is watching.