It’s a common refrain that 2017 sucked.
The darkness that we have been stuck within for way too long now has finally come into the light.
It’s an ugly and dangerous time. And, yet, it always has been. It’s just that, especially with the advent of our
social media, we are now seeing it fully.
But the only way to the other side of all of this is through it.
Over the past year, I discovered myself rooting deeper into my own sense of Self and Source.
Was it a challenging year for my family and myself, as well? Yeah, it was.
Among other things, in 2017, I struggled through a difficult, early pregnancy which resulted in another miscarriage;
at the same time, things were strained with my partner and I as our income took a huge hit and he gave voice to feelings of resentment over being the main provider in our family; and, then, our 3-year old son’s behavior became more rage-filled and aggressive. Dude! 🙁
All I could do was to keep discovering the brightness of my own light by acknowledging our difficulties
and committing to being with the discomfort of all of them. This is what I wish for our collective “We.”
As it is how I am finding my way to the other side.
When December rolled in, I made an internal decision to have a great holiday season. Miraculously, we did!
The holidays are, usually, a time filled with angst, however.
Growing up, there were hundreds of ornaments to decorate a tree with. However, there was a “right” way of decorating the tree (as well as wrapping the gifts) which, mainly, only my mother knew how to do. Sometimes, those ornaments would sit on the dining room table for months into the new year, because there was a “right” way for putting them away, as well. This kinda sucked the joy right outta the season.
Still, like a puppy awaiting it’s master’s return, I looked forward to Santa’s visit to our suburban, two-story home.
Every Christmas morning, I awoke to stockings bulging with gifts as well as the space beneath our Christmas tree loaded with new toys & clothes for my siblings and myself. You see, my mother is someone who finds comfort in retail therapy, as buying things helped to assuage her deep feelings of shame and guilt – about how her own unchecked rage and aggression wreaked the havoc of the cycles of emotional and physical abuse on her family.
I vividly recall one Christmas season when I awoke early and took the initiative, as a developing girl child, to start cleaning the pile of dishes sitting beside the sink. Alas, when my mother got up, she berated me for not doing the job correctly – because she then had to do it all over. You can imagine how this response wiped away any desire to try to be of service to my family any longer. (I cried copious tears years later when I was told that I had to take over the dish washing chore from my sister who was soon leaving for college.)
Today, I aim to encourage my son’s initiative and help, even when it means that I have to slow down and re-do a task. All of this has also meant that redefining the holiday season has been necessary, yet difficult. How do I create meaningful rituals and re-write the script of all of this, especially in the face of a culturally approved message that Christmas is about consumption? I don’t know “how” but I do know how to keep aiming for my own, unique sense of ‘True North” – which is for experiences that are filled with connection and community.
Thus, our December looked like numerous adventures in an old RV, driving my son and myself along with other Mamas & their babes to cultural events across San Diego. It looked like pulling our children in carts to enjoy local parades as well as the abundance of ‘Festivus’ lights found across the city. It looked like celebrating with food and communion with our numerous Soul families, a few of whom provided our son with gifts that met his personal desires. It also looked like heading up to the mountains to breathe in and enjoy living trees and forests. We climbed peaks and rode bikes. I spent quality time in the kitchen and the garden and we enjoyed yummy food. It was awesome!
There was one major thing that was missing from our holiday season, however. And, that was SERVICE.
In 2017, the blatant division that has plagued our nation as well as our global sisterhood (and brotherhood) has been heartbreakingly evident.
Personally, I have been caught up within my own healing as well as self-absorbed bubble that I haven’t been of greater service to our whole. Some might accuse me of being complicit within the injustices inherent in our system, as a result. I will do my best to make amends in this new year and beyond.
All I can hope is that we are each doing our best to extricate ourselves from what doesn’t work so that we can be present to co-creating systems that are regenerative and sustainable. As we move into 2018, it is my hope that we locate our collective power of FORGIVENESS for all that has been so that we can truly harness the power of this now in order to manifest what is to come next.
Thus, 2018 is going to be a “FU$K YEAH” year.
As the darkness seemingly continues to envelop us and as I peer more and more into my own shadow behaviors, I will continue to integrate how to be with all of it – even in the face of my high discomfort. I commit to you, and US, in this new year.
2018 is the year to shine bright so that others may also live brightly.
Women, children, people of color, the underserved and the most vulnerable of our society need us now. It is time to expand beyond what we thought was possible for ourselves and our families and into what we know is possible for our communities as well as our planet.