So. Christmas has come and gone and I'm sitting in the eye of it all watching the pieces of fake snow fall to the bottom of the snow-globe. It's quiet for now. I feel a bit like Rose from the Titanic wondering where the hell my diamond necklace went and did that ship really just sink?? Because I was just, like, sunbathing and wearing a cool hat. . .
I now understand the universal eye- roll over holiday cheese that gets poured annually over Facebook and all of social media. I get it now. It's hard when you can't post a picture of you and your mom with the caption “My Best Friend!!” or write about how blessed you are to have spent such a special time with your family..I loved seeing my family, but I didn't love the feelings that came with it.
The thing about family is that it often holds the blueprints of your past wounds and insecurities. The ones that you are constantly trying to heal, the framing that you are constantly trying to rework. From birth, we've had a relationship with our mothers. We didn't consciously form this relationship. It was something that was instilled in us from our first breath, before we knew anything about true unconditional love or setting healthy boundaries for that matter. They literally taught us to speak, taught us how to cope with our feelings, how to respond to others, and how to love our selves. But our mothers are humans too, and at some point in our life, it dawns on us: we have to become our new parent. They weren't always right. We are actually pretty smart and fully capable. We might actually know a thing or two. We are perfect and whole just as we are. We are worthy of happiness just as we are.
The river that flows between mother and daughter can get so muddy. With so much dirt washing up on your shore, you start to wonder if some of it actually is yours. If maybe you had done something differently...that maybe you are the one not seeing clearly...that if you had only ---
And then you realize how accustomed you've become of the mud on the beach. Because of it, you stopped swimming. You became afraid of the current. You stopped putting your toes in. You started to avoid the beach altogether. Because you'd rather pretend it didn't exist than to have to spend the energy to wash off the mud again. You stopped asserting yourself. You lost your self-trust. You started to love yourself conditionally. You questioned your worth. Because you'd rather not get hurt. Because as contradictory as it sounds, it's easier to believe it's your fault than to feel the pain and helplessness of your mother not seeing you for who you are.
Sometimes there is absolutely nothing you can do but feel it all, knowing that if your body is capable of producing the feeling, it's capable of feeling the feeling. That, and trust that the waves capable of bringing the mud are also capable of washing your shore clean.
I didn't have a cute Instagram post this year on Christmas day, or have the love-fest that we had last year...but I do have hope that something brighter and bigger and richer is taking shape. It might not come in the form of some happy holiday Hallmark card, but maybe it will come in the form of a stronger partnership with my fiance, a stronger partnership with myself, more self-trust, and firmly planted feet in the brand new shoes of the woman I always wanted to be (just me). Christmas sucked. I'm letting go of a lot. But I'm also gaining a lot and trusting the new year to bring rebirth and healing.
And until then, we'll be drinking the leftover alcohol and milking the Christmas tree for all it's worth.