I can fabricate the scariest circumstances as possible outcomes in my life. And it’s all in my mind.
So why don’t I know this? Why don’t I stop myself before I get on the 3 a.m. terror train? This is something I learned as a young child and perfected as I got older- we are all good at something, right? Lol. In sitting and observing, noticing how I do this to myself today, I realized that although at one time (the scaring) was useful as a motivator to be prepared, organized, have a plan and keep me safe from harm, this is of absolutely no use to me as an adult and actually has me functioning from “fight or flight” response.
None of it EVER transpires anything like the scenario I’ve created! None of it EVER will! Things always work out for the best in the end. Things always work out for me – yet when I’m faced with difficult circumstances …I scare the shit out of myself.
Just watching. Noticing. Remembering that everything always works out, everything. Every time, over n over. But for some reason I need to scare the shit out of Me so I can prepare all the possible scenarios that MIGHT transpire. This is no longer a useful pattern today. I need to lean into this is scary and watch myself be scared and also be a witness to myself preparing and controlling NOTHING. I’ll wait it out and know that everything will be just fine.
STOP scaring the shit out of us!!! preparing for an ancient, silent battle that no longer needs to be fought. You know things always work out. Cut the shit and know we are ok. Sometimes just naming the fear lessons it’s grip on us. Call that fucker out, it’ll be less potent once named and seen. As many times a day as you need to, call on your breath to replace the need to “do”.
My ringtone is crickets. No accident. Yes, I do love insects but this was different. Healing past wounds- the devastating kind- CHANGES who you most deeply are. Much of your old life falls away, an unavoidable side effect, sometimes feels like a mean trick. I assumed my life would improve, things would get better, people would support me, my efforts, right? CRICKETS. Slowly, everything I knew melted away – some with the stench of hot garbage on an August afternoon – ok, a thousand August afternoons. Transformation was mine…my mistrust, anxiety, terror, shame and anger – making way for new levels of aliveness and renewed sense that the world is so much more than what I was led to believe. My family of origin supportive of this? Crickets.
Then, I took a long hard look at who I had chosen to surround myself with. Oh boy. Tough to realize most around me were asleep, not fully living. I had attracted folks who wouldn’t expect more from ME. I was safe, I didn’t have to change. I was just existing, functioning. And so were they. We all were doing the best we could with what we knew at the time. Living on autopilot. Autopilot, for most my friends, was running on substance. Not to be judgy, cause substance is a great support, an essential life-saver for many- but as I moved further from that, as I began healing, I ached for people to be better, do better. I suffered FOR them, for their emptiness. The baggage they continued to carry around, slowly killing them. Yet I could see their potential, I could see the beautiful hearts, the generous souls, the depth of their story, the way they let someone else dictate how their life turned out. Still honoring the hand that continued to hold them down…Living? NO. Existing? Yes. Crickets.
Crickets. Deafening. It’s my fault. I’ve basically swapped one hell for another. Healing deeply has it’s potholes. I wanted more. More from those who were unaware and unable to be present. Suffrage central. I wanted connection with people who have no connection with themselves. I wanted to be heard and seen. With invisible friends. I wanted them to be present, feeling, deep. Too much to ask. Way too much to get from those who just cannot function where I am. Way too much to ask from those who just cannot function wherethey are. I was never victorious in the war against their love for substance, I never would be – with them fighting against me. Such a great fantasy tho. I watched them cycle – the distractions, numbing, dumbing down their light with food, alcohol, busyness, shopping, gaming, cleaning and playing victim – work for them. No way in hell can I compete with that…Who am I to want more from them? Who am I for wanting more love, more of their time? They are doing their best.
But yet, I am so worthy. Worthy of closeness, being cherished, being leaned on, trusted, loved, seen, heard. You know, all the things friends do, have and are. So I suck. I lose. I am alone. Crickets. Free from so much of my weighty baggage. Yay, but wasn’t I always alone? From the very beginning, I have been on my own. Surrounded by so many, I guess I never knew, never felt it. I would have denied that I felt lonely. Apparently fine with minimal connection. I was fine with taking the back seat to alcohol. If I had only remained asleep. If only I had not broken out of my family unit. If only I could live in the non-reality of it all. I might not be an option in so many people’s lives.
Who the fuck am I kidding? Crickets… Maybe the crickets have the answer. They sing at night, alone at first and eventually, there are many. Some singing in unison, some continue their own tune. All respectful of each other’s voice, creating beauty wherever they land. Staying true to themselves, hopping away to find comfort, staying only where it’s safe and pleasant. No asking other crickets for permission, just crickets, doing their crickety thing. Every day a new day – maybe going it alone, maybe having some company to sing their life song. This, I wish for all.
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 thosebadassreaders 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…to carry 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 is 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 onlyyoucan.
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 and 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. 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. 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.
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.
envision a shield protecting you prior to entering a sketchy situation. Especially 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. Self empowerment, strength and self advocacy sure looks sexy on you. Only you can do this for yourself.
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.
makealternateplans 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 has strep, chicken pox, cock-sakie (good Lord), or the dreaded flu? Not only will you get sympathy but people will be GLAD you didn’t show up. And BONUS… you will get lots of sympathy.
even if you do not attend, and you’re anything like me, you feel like shit because you’re not with your family. You feel like shit because you don’t want to be with them. You feel like shit because you are feeling relieved and happy because you didn’t blindly agree to attend. You feel like shit because you can’t imagine it will EVER be any different. You 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 went through this on several holidays. It’s so important to create your own Holiday rituals and traditions.
Happy Holidays!!! 😘😘😘 Do YOU. and let me know how it goes 💪 👑
That’s right. Sit in the woods, collect seed pods, watch the sun rise above the crisp Autumn landscape, take naps, long baths, create a sacred space in your home, on your land.
Spend time connecting with your children, your family, friends, stranger. Stop what you’re doing and look into their eyes, listening with presence, without agenda. Growing older is a privilege. Cherish the time you have and the vessel that supports your existence, otherwise known as your body.
Make every day matter. That’s right, sit in the woods, collecting seed pods, watching the sun set through the autumn landscape, draw a warm fragrant bath, create a bedtime ritual, a sacred space in your bedroom, on your land. Spend time in connection with yourself.