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.
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.
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.”
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.
Sometimes we underestimate the power of words of thanks and gratitude, I know I do. I want to make a more conscious effort to freely let others know I appreciate them, whether I know them well or not. You never know who needed to hear those words the moment you said them.
Do you lie awake at night and think about the things you could have or should have said but didn’t? I do. Constantly. Here is my list.
Content warning: Discussion of violence and assault
There is so much tragedy in the world; it’s hard to feel like there’s any good. 2016 was an insane year for my family; the holiday season hasn’t been the same. This year I am choosing to focus on being thankful for everything I have.