After the past two years, I don’t want to focus on what’s wrong with me or how I can be different. I want to enter the new year accepting myself for where I am at, taking care of myself, and having less shame about it all in the process.
Gift-giving during the holidays can cause more stress than joy for many people in our lives. The holiday season can be complicated and put us in an awkward position based on our life experiences- are these gifts acts of love, acts of obligation, acts of control, or all of the above? We don’t all have the same relationship to gifting.
A piece of my heart broke this week with the announcement of the loss of bell hooks. It is comforting to know that I belong to a sacred collective of mourners who felt a shift within themselves- Black women, femmes, and writers whose lives forever changed when they held bell hooks’ work in their hands.
To exist- to survive, as is- is a lot of hard work. The effort that you put into each day is remarkable. I hope you can take a moment to yourself, breathe, and feel kindness and grace flow through you. I am proud of you for making it to the end of another week.
It’s easy to want to point fingers at each other when there’s conflict in our interpersonal relationships. Our egos want there to be a bad guy without looking at the full context of our behaviors. Before we rush to cast blame, we can hold ourselves accountable. We’re human; we make mistakes.
Autumn marks the season of transformation and the start of the holidays. With that comes an expectation to maintain traditions and express gratitude, a desire that is not universal for all of us. You don’t have to accept and find goodness in everything. You can be grateful and acknowledge you need change.
Whether you’re a long-standing follower or a newcomer, let’s become more acquainted. Here’s a reintroduction to the blogger behind Muted Mouthful.
With all the information available from trained professionals and humans sharing their lived experiences, I’d like to think folks are gaining a deeper understanding of themselves and others. However, with all this information and reflection, I am growing concerned about one term that has been on the tips of people’s tongues, and that’s the word “toxic.”
“I don’t recognize you anymore.”
Her words floated across the table, making their way to my ears, clashing with the sound of rain hitting the tall windows of the cafe. We haven’t even said hello, I thought to myself. I sat silently for a moment, stirring my coffee, carefully making sure the spoon didn’t hit the edges of the mug, a brief distraction. Dark gray clouds were parading across the sky, dimming the natural light shining through. Rain could be a good sign; rain is healing. I pictured this scene many times in my head, mentally preparing for the conversation that would inevitably take place. With a deep breath, I looked up to meet her eyes, “Hello, mother.”
Imagine a demon hag with sunken eyes, a deep black hooded cloak, and long boney fingers following me around, sounding alarm bells, and making me second-guess my every move. That’s how I pictured my anxiety and our lopsided relationship. Something needed to change.