I love seeing n hearing birds. Never worried, depressed, in a rush or unmotivated, etc. They just do what they do and live life with purpose. Adapting to their circumstances and surroundings, flexible as can be. Without resistance, or overthinking.
I never lost the child within. She’s right here next to me. Gathering trinkets on walks. Stones that peak interest, pine needles that prickle on my cheek, pods yet opened, full of possibility and promise of another season.
Feathers of hawk, abandoned hornets nests, berries artistically encased in ice – saved in the freezer, crimson leaf pressed in the pages of the Mother Earth catalogue, brown, striped seeds of mystery.
Recuerdos, mementos for recalling yesterdays, telling the earth’s story one tchotchke at a time. Don’t lose the child within. He/she is counting on you.
So, the Holidays, hmmmmm. I’m guessing that some of my readers may be very excited for Holidays. I am also knowing that there’s a whole other section of the general pop who are digging themselves a large hole, preparing to jump in to escape all things “family celebration”. I’m a proud member of the second, gasp less acknowledged group. Actually I’m a charter member, with 10 years of sanity under my belt 😂 (and all over my body, actually LOL).
Tis the season for hushed-toned conversations, multiplying in frequency, “Oh, she doesn’t come around” and “He doesn’t bother with us” even “I think she’s crazy, she doesn’t talk to any of her family”. “Who could walk out on their family?” Well, there’s ALWAYS a pretty good fucking reason why someone would cut the ties with their tribe. Always. Period. It’s usually one badass warrior mother fucker who can pull this off in search of a wonderfully joy-filled life. Someone like um… like um… ME. Turning out to have found peace…away from their tragic family of origin. This, my friends, is the elephant in the room.
I write about this in support of those badassreaders I have. The people who don’t feel entirely settled when the Holidays arrive. Those who are depressed, anxious, angry, revengeful or indifferent when it comes to “family”. For those of you who are new to my blog, I use quotation marks when I write “family” because the word is LOADED – ya’ll know what I’m talkin bout. It’s in no way a normal word for me and can be very heavy. You’re feelin me.
Chances are, your “family” wants you to just forget everything that’s happened in the past and smile, be pretty and pretend like everything is normal. Hell, deep down, you WANT to believe you have the best family ever (who tf doesn’t?) – So you, against your better judgement, attend the family Holiday party —- thinking it will be fine this time. You got this. Fuck them. I’m not going to let them get to me this time. Let’s do this. Put your party clothes on and grab a bag…big enough to carry home all those triggers that are waiting for you. Happy Holidays😳
It can be very very diff to go through the motions and attend Holiday gatherings just for the sake of keeping the peace. As if. As if you want to be there. As if. As if. Usually, there’s a price… predictably sacrificing your own needs and boundaries for the sake of others’ needs and happiness. That shit never feels good and the next day we make ourselves pay for it in whatever way feels familiar to us.
Me? well, the day after, I’m curled up in a ball, feeling punched in the gut, filled with regrets, swearing to God I’ll never say yes again. So much crazy shit swirling in your head- hate for them, hate for yourself and guilt. Guilty for hating everyone and everything. Enter mind-fuck…maybe it IS me. Maybe I’m making a big deal out of nothing…they all seem happy 😳. Ewe, WAIT! NO.
So how does one survive this scenario? this gathering of triggers, this no-thankyou portion of family, this nothing-is-as-it-appears celebration? I am so glad you asked
put yourself first, listen to your heart and do what feels correct for you. It is your decision. No-one knows what it’s like to be inside of your body. Eyes wide open, ask yourself what you need, what would make YOU happy (for a change). What makes you feel good.
know that you are making the best decision for you – only you, because you’re the only one who knows and lives your truth.
create a holiday tradition that touches your heart. Something specific to honoring what is important to you around the Holidays. Whatever brings you joy, keeps you centered, grounded and calm. Giving your time/talents to others or creating something for yourself with no outside influences.
write about how things will be different if you do spend time with family over the Holidays. (write it out, read it to someone or keep for next year – so you can chronical your growth. If you’re into ceremony and ritual maybe you meditate on your written ideas and set fire to it when it feels complete. Re-writing your new and improved version of the Holiday – sending your intention out to the Universe for manifestation.
surround yourself with people (outside of your family) who support your feelings. Do not expect your family of origin to understand what you are going through. They don’t. They can’t. Period. Find those outside of your “family”. They won’t be triggered by YOUR “family” shit – they most likely have different baggage and can support you in an unbiased way. Their baggage is different.
stay away from alcohol if you can possibly help it. Your guard will be down and you may end up saying and doing things you prob wouldn’t have. Seriously, resist the urge with all you have. It can be so tempting to numb yourself out but save the drinking for when you are with more supportive, less triggery folks. You’re welcome.
give yourself an energy bath – wipe that nasty energy off with a washcloth and down the drain it goes. Replacing the nasties with clean white or golden light. Filling in the holes that were punctured intentionally and unintentionally during your “family” time.
If you must go into the battle zone aka “family” gathering, I suggest you envision a shield protecting you prior to entering the sketchy soirée. Shield your heart, solar plexus (core) and sacral chakras. In no way are you a bad person for protecting yourself from negative energy. It’s brilliant and gives you a slight giggle as you try on, “You can’t have me” or “You can’t get me” or “I’ll decide what you get from me”! delicious, absolutely delicious. Better than a plate of cookies! Self empowerment, strength and self advocacy sure looks sexy on you. You’re so hot! Only you can do this for you.
be gentle with yourself!!! it’s exhausting work to challenge your family’s structure. The emotions of guilt, anger, betrayal, sadness, frustration are all a normal part of creating boundaries with people who do not respect our “NO”.
make a plan. escape route, get away line, time limit, certain people to avoid. Identify what is off limits for you and what you’ll spend less time around – these suggestions all go a long way to create a sense of control over the situation. No-one has to be IN on this plan. Use when triggered and repeat if necessary. Creating and sticking to boundaries will feel MEAN initially, mostly because we were raised to not have/expect boundaries. But if practiced enuff, you’ll get over it, trust.
make alternate plans for the Holiday – out of state, out of the country, Mars? And divulge these plans early so people have time to get used to the idea! There, now you can breathe deeply. Can’t see the dysfunction from there can ya?
fake an illness – who wants to be with someone who is ill… strep, chicken pox, cock-sakie (good Lord), or the dreaded flu? “He/she was sick” has a better ring to it than “he/she didn’t want to come” You might actually be the recipient of some sympathy and people will be glad you didn’t show up. And BONUS… your needs are met! Just don’t use Covid as an excuse – cause it’ll backfire and they’ll be more up your ass than ever.
even if you do not attend, and you’re anything like me, you might… feel like shit because you’re not with your family, feel like shit because you don’t want to be with them, feel like shit because you are feeling relieved and happy because you didn’t blindly agree to attend, feel like shit because you can’t imagine it will EVER be any different, feel like shit because you feel so alone and unloved and cast aside, betrayed, crazy. That’s a whole lot of shit to shovel. This can be very, very difficult to push through. I speak from experience. been through this for several holidays in a row. It’s so very important to create your own Holiday rituals and traditions.
Happy Holidays!!! 😘😘😘 Do YOU and let me know how it goes 💪 👑
Today I’m thankful for the animals that share our space.
The stealth snow owls, focused red tailed hawks, regal bobcats, black oil-slicked crows, curious deer, confused possums, five finger discount raccoons, cold sticky frogs, snakes using my garden as a dressing room, baby mice and the raggedy ass coyotes singing and announcing their intentions all night long. Invisible or seen. Vocal or silent. Life is fuller with your influence, richer with your light, more interesting with your presence in our space. Honoring all that sings late into the night. If just for today.
Yesterday was an emotional day for me. The purging hurt so good. The death of an antiquated pattern, shedding my dumb-suit. My beauty radiating blissfully from under the decaying camouflage. Reflecting on how different I am today. It hit me hard. Like my heart was cracking open to love – love for myself. Continue reading “Retiring My Emotional Armor”→
Adorn yourself with lovely things. What are we saving our best shit for? Don’t save the outfit, those shoes, those earrings that resemble a chandelier – for a special occasion. Continue reading “We ARE The Event”→
A couple of years ago I was still pretty raw. Trudging through the feeling of insanity -I didn’t feel “connected” with people. Feeling angry with not being able to get ppl in my life to respond, have compassion and identify with the angst I was trying to convey to them. Oh, this is not new, it goes wayyyy back to my littlest expression of myself. As a toddler, throwing a fit to get someone to notice what was wrong… but no-one was there for me, just empty shells around me, human forms with unavailable hearts. No-one met me in my fury. Instead. spanking, isolation, distraction or denial of my reality “here, it’s not broken” 😳 as the doll’s head was jammed back onto its body- facing the WRONG direction. Or, “go to your room and be quiet and the rash might get better” Oh, fucking brilliance. This was the response of my parents, siblings. There was no room for my angst, fear, real problems, joy or inquisitive nature. No room for ANY of it, any of my emotions – I learned to just absorb what others wanted me to do and display what THEY thought was an appropriate reaction. I grew masterful in sensing what other people wanted and to go with that, leaving my own needs in the next town over.
As I grew, because I was such a brilliant human in a sea of fucking stupidity, LMAO, I figured out that what I felt, thought and wanted were flawed and it was MUCH safer and sane 😳 to go with what other ppl dictated – as correct for me. These were my NEW needs, my new existence, one that might get a reaction from people I lived with. This brilliance – to just adapt or I might not make it out – was perfect. I’m here, wrong this so obviously I made it out but only a fraction of my original self was visible.
No wonder why I had to kick, scream and otherwise rise up in my body and cause a scene JUST to get someone to listen and connect with me in an honest, present way. I didn’t want shit solved or made better. I understood that some things in life were not “fixable” and sometimes things just plain sucked. I GOT THAT PART, TRUST ME. It would have been ok if THAT very truth was ever confirmed. Actually, it would have been beautiful, but nope.
So today, after years of being a trained dog… conditioned to rise up in my body, energy all in the upper 3rd of my physicality, must get hysterical, emotions swirling, in order to get a need met….I finally, really, can make sense of how this pattern was birthed.
7 years ago, I met my most favorite therapist ever. She has been an amazing force in my life after a string of substandard LOONEY bins. Honestly, she had helped me deeply transform my life.
When I saw my lovely human therapist, for a while there was a common theme – nobody understands me with regards to healing, with doing what’s best for me, with accepting me as I am, with how I’m no longer tolerating certain ppl or situations in my life, with how I’m not happy all the time 😑, I couldn’t get anyone to react in a “normal” way (listening, reacting, ask a question, don’t change the subject, or otherwise tell me how I should be different). So many tears for so many years. So much suffering over shit I have NO control over. Does make you feel bat-shit crazy after a while.
The voices in my head trying to get my attention, trying to “help” me 🙄. Those voices are trying to keep me small, trying to get me to close my mouth, stay isolated, doubt my intuition. Victimizers (those little bastard voices from within) were alive n well. Tearing a hole in my heart every time I made a move to -go for my life- and break an old f’d pattern of behavior. Telling me “why are you making such a fuss?”, “just shut up, nobody cares about your opinions”, “you look crazy, and desperate, trying to get people to agree with you”, “all your family members seem to have let go of the past and you’re a loser cause you can’t”, “ you’re the problem”. Wow, hmmmm all those words have a striking alikeness to the bullshit I was sold 47-25 years ago. 😳
Instead of giving in to the insanity I was destined to be—- My therapist, the saint, the brilliant woman that she is…taught me to use a YARDSTICK.
A YARDSTICK you say? WTF. Now, it’s not what you think. I ain’t gunna go beating anyone with a yardstick – although that’s a delicious fantasy – there’s a more effective, life-long use of it.
The pain I was feeling was a result of wanting something different from people who were (and still not) able to meet me where I was (am). So, she spoke to me, “for instance, say you were thinking about telling your sister that you used to be so scared at night thinking that someone was going to come into your room and harm you.”
In order to figure out if telling your Sister would be the best choice -First, you need to think about what you already know about your sister… How likely would it be for you to feel comforted, supported and heard by her? ENTER YARDSTICK
Ahhhhhhh, the yardstick of compassion. “If I had a yardstick here right now, where, on this yardstick would your sister be, in terms of compassion?” So I replied, maybe 2 inches… and I sat back and thought for a minute. So, I began, I am asking my sister to meet me in my fear, my aliveness, my sadness, etc.. when she is FAR FROM BEING EQUIPPED to do so.
“That’s right.” my therapist added with a smile. “You cannot give what you do not have.” I repeated this, YOU CANNOT GIVE WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE. YOU CANNOT GIVE WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE.
Oh, you can fake it, yes, you can fake compassion, but energetically, it’s going to fall flat and further frustrate the recipient. I often can sense this “fake compassion” in people, and pray for them. The more layers we heal in ourselves, the more we are able to sniff out the fakers, the do-gooders, the saccharin sweet positivity oozers who are really pretty empty and unaware 😔. I think the song the big empty – by STP is coming to mind. I’ve healed to the point that I can feel this disingenuous energy. This slippery “as if” cover up that’s rarely purposeful but also rarely helpful when you’re looking for REAL.
So get yer yardsticks out folks, it’ll save you a truckload of hurt. Ask yourself, self…. where is he/she on the yardstick of compassion? If the answer is low – well then tailor your communication with that person, as such. Those I deem low on the yardstick – only receive brief, shallow comments from me, with lightness and frivolity sprinkled about…LMAO, just the way they want life to appear. Hell, I deserve some fun too 🙂
If they are pretty high on the yardstick, the expectation/odds of having a true connection and being heard, are pretty high and I share freely with them. My entire family of origin is barely represented on the yardstick. So rather than chase, and hope, and dream, and pray that they “get me” I have chosen to have little to no contact.
THEIR yardsticks….. make better tomato stakes in my garden. 😂
Feeling gratitude for my slice of this earth…to feel what nature/earth has to offer, to hear sounds of wild things, to see vibrant colors and changing landscape, to play on the land- limited only by my own creativity. I acknowledge the privilege of tasting the fruits of my relationship with Mother Earth.
THIS. As I sit in this beautiful space. Listening. Allowing.