Wrestling with the Current

I want to give you another piece about food, because I feel like that’s what you’re here for.

But if I’m honest with myself, which is a fierce part of me these days, I’m thinking about a lot more.

The holiday season is upon us. Well, for us living here in the U.S.

Which means, well, a whole lotta work. Everywhere I look, I see this glimmer of what adults used to know and love. Because that honesty I feel deep down tells me these holidays will never feel like they used to. I think that can be a little sad for a lot of people. Especially those who are away from loved ones and crave those perfect moments filled with cinnamon rolls and bacon and maybe, a warm fire.

I am sad, because I was getting to a place where the holidays were becoming meaningful again. More than just presents, which to be honest, are a lot of fun. Let’s just say “giving gifts”. But as we all know, the gifts take a backseat, the older we get. At least to me they do. What I want is connection. To feel close. To feel caught up and loved and peaceful. That is something I never get tired of — something I crave, especially now.

I’m processing this now because I know what divorce and separation look like during the holidays. The absent body and the weight that body used to carry. There is a lot of sadness in a lost presence. Whether that is by loss of family members or friends, or a relationship that has run its course.

We are stimulated by the music and food and gifts. Rightfully so. They are lovely. But I know I will start to feel that weight in my belly. It will come on strong, like some undercurrent pulling me away from the safety of a shore.

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And I will have to let it take me.

For just a bit. I will wrestle with it and tug and release. I will ask it hard questions and not get anything back.

We are all fighting these battles on the inside. To know what is good and what is needed. And how that shifts in our own seasons. It’s okay to pull them out to examine.

“This is what my pain looks like!” I will exclaim.

And it will soften.

I remember, as a kid, those first holidays when your parents separate. There are hard questions you ask yourself. Questions I still ask myself and fumble around with. Where do I belong? And for how long? Exactly how much love do I deserve?

People will tell you the great love they have for you, but it’s really up to the person to accept those things in themselves. It’s an odd thing, our ability to be open for others relies on our own ability to love ourselves. Truly, I think. And I think sometimes that looks selfish to other people, but there is a great peace in loving one’s self, and to feel strong.

So this year, I want to work for that peace.

As Christmas’y as that might sound, it is important for me to start again.

Learning what it is I need, what tools I need to be light in the heaviness, and to once again feel connected to the world.

Because in a season where we are all finding and fighting for each other,

there is nothing more important than fighting to find yourself again.

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