Write a New Holiday Story..and Still Honor Your Memories
Hope you’ve been having a week of balanced self-care after the dunk and immersion in the holiday frenzy. (for my friends in the USA I’m referring to your Thanksgiving Holiday – for the rest of us – we feel ya!)
For many people, it all begins now and it’s like being on a racing freight train fueled with escapism and angst and sugar, yep there is that. For those of you who suffer empathy overload and end up either fatigued and foggy or also confused because extra weight shows up on you overnight from all the stress, try and find ways to detach, go get grounded by walking in nature, and take lots of Himalayan salt baths, and breathe.
Here’s my go-to advice for the whole season.
You can also say NO and say it a lot to manage it all, but there’s a new normal, (or abnormal is the new normal) and we need all the help we can get to remain positive and certain within while the uncertainty on the outside prevails.
While we can tune out temporarily, we can’t ignore what’s happening in the world. I believe humanity is experiencing this for a reason. It’s all a precursor to a more cohesive peaceful world. And the sky is always darkest before dawn.
Call me a hippie-dippie granola grinder Pollyanna but I believe in the soul of humanity and I believe Love is the only answer. And we have a long way to go.
And, It’s also true the world is getting increasingly difficult for sensitives. Who knew watching the news could make you swollen and exhausted? Now the holidays? Oy Vey!
While remaining aware and respectful of the state of things, I have also been counter-balancing it all with watching hilarious cat and puppy videos online, reading inspirational stories (also about pets), listening to moving music, being present and kind to as many as I can, and of course getting ready to welcome our new fur baby Binkey to our little family. There is nothing like a new puppy to keep one in present time awareness and simplicity,(and deep cleaning solution and wee wee pads).
So here we are. It’s the end of November and this weekend we’re welcoming December and the month I self-reflect in the most as we all come to the close of a new year. It’s a month that hosts so many memories and stories that have crowed for my attention. It used to be deafening like being forced to listen to heavy metal music. Now it’s softer and poignant and melodic.
Echoes of the past ping around asking me to choose which ones I will listen to. Will I choose the stories of sadness and sorrow or the ones that I have changed on purpose? Can I make new memories from those that have been changed by healing and forgiveness? We are memory based creatures all of us building our awareness out of expectation and familiarity.
When I was little, December 6th was the night that my mom would instruct us to leave our shoes outside our bedroom doors. We would wake up on the 7th to discover them filled with special treats- clementines, and chocolate Santas, pfeffernusse cookies and little marzipan piggies –all gifts from an early visit from St. Nick.
We had advent calendars that opened little windows with a gift inside them. Every day was a countdown to Christmas and the New Year. I loved it more than my birthday, Easter, or any other special time. This was the super bowl for kids and I was going to play it till the end.
Then, years later, alcoholism, loss, severe poverty, fear and anger took away our family’s stories of Christmas. Granted it wasn’t all bad, my mom still cooked the goose and baked cookies but the Spirit was gone, (or maybe drunk with sorrow and vermouth in the backyard) and anyway we couldn’t find the spirit of the holiday anywhere.
To add to the new story as it unfolded in short order both my parents got sick during this month and died in February a couple years apart and after their passing when I was in my early 30s. I just wanted to boycott the entire month of December altogether as (for millions of bad reasons) we just couldn’t manage anyway. For years I used to get ready to pull the covers over my head and couldn’t wait till it was all over.
Even Scrooge was too happy for my taste for a while.
Now years later again, enter my husband the ever-cheery Christmas elf! It was he who re-introduced me to the joy of the season and it became a new story yet again. No longer did I have an allergy to the holidays, in fact, I learned the other shoe already dropped (actually it was a whole closet but who’s comparing) and it was Ok to give myself permission to feel good and to know gratitude. A new story again.
Here’s the deal – this and that is true. The past is true according to the lens you see it through. What was once sad and horrible for me is now poignant and meaningful. But they were once both. I honor that today but I choose a new story. I want to live in the solution, I want to be the forgiveness, and I want to think about others before myself.
So I don’t wait for St. Nick to come to fill my shoes. I find someone in need to give to. I don’t drink anymore so I know I won’t be the slobbering idiot at the party (I will be 33 years clean and sober in a few weeks). Actually, I like to go to bed at 9 pm so parties are kind of a stretch anyway!
I listen when a friend wants to clear the air instead of insisting on them hearing my side of the story because I can’t bear the thought that my actions might have hurt someone. I make amends and I do self- care and I do the best I can when I’m not doing the best I can. Today I want to be a better friend regardless of my disposition to isolate. I can do things differently.
I have learned I don’t have to try to recreate the past nor cling to the big promise of the future anymore. I make the present work. It’s not just an inside job, it really is about the doing of it all too when it comes to this particular aspect of memory making.
Yes, I get insecure, even envious, sometimes paralyzed and subject myself to all manner of old stuff when triggered but only for a short time.
Actions make new memories, thinking about them is a good beginning but it’s the doing of them that changes things. Yes, it can be hard. So what! My ass is too big and my joy too wide for the pity pot these days (actually it’s just right, to be honest, but you get the idea ). And, well, If we do what we did we will get what we got. I don’t want to feel shitty at this time of year. I want to be part of the solution even if I don’t know what that is. I sure know what it isn’t.
At this moment.. I am going downstairs with my amazing husband adorable bunch of hilarious tiny ridiculously cute Pomeranians, and am going to sing carols and get that tree ready for trimming with sparkles and lights and more love that I’ll be consciously sending to everyone on the planet who might be suffering while I am not.
You see this and that is true too.
So… love to hear from you now. How have you changed your memories and begun to tell a new story? If you haven’t yet, how will you?
We are all powerful co-creators and we can all dive in right now together.
Now- my tribe… tag you’re it!
Love you always and forever!