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.
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.
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.”
Healing is uncomfortable.
This year I make my 30th trip around the sun. I’ve grown and changed in so many ways, taking shape as the person I need myself to be. I have to remind myself that, as scary as life can be, I am powerful and capable of tackling it all.
Love is abundant; there are infinite ways to demonstrate your feelings. Physical closeness is only one of the many ways to show our affection for each other. It’s not the only way.
“You give the best hugs” and 20+ different compliments to shower the lovely people in your life when reconnecting during the pandemic.
I may not have been able to travel this year, but I found myself exploring places in my mind that I had not ventured before.