What I Don’t Want to Tell You During the Holidays

The Holidays are upon us and I don’t have my sh*t together.

I’m not talking about tree trimming and gift wrapping – all of that is appropriately behind schedule, yes. It’s the bigger things – the stuff of life that makes us who we are, the stuff that shapes our stories that’s got me worried. Expectations, hopes, desires. Things that happened that I wish had not happened. Things that didn’t happen that I wish had.  The struggle to accept where I am in this beautiful thing we call life. It’s this stuff that’s got me perplexed right now.

The last few years have proved to be a bit of a roller coaster. While I’ve learned more about myself and who I want to be in this world, these lessons have come at a cost. Anything worthy comes at a cost.

I am no longer a willing participant in the spilling over of other’s brokenness into my life. And you become very unpopular when you’re not putting up with other people’s bullshit. It’s created strained relationships. Some people would rather not talk to me – and with some, the feeling is mutual.

I’ve been fired from two jobs.  I’m starting a new business.

My love life is lacking. I haven’t been in a steady relationship since my divorce.

The holidays are meant to be a time for gathering, a time for reflection. But sometimes gathering and reflection remind me of what is missing, especially those things which my heart craves but are going unfulfilled.

This holiday season, I’m finding myself smack-dab in the messy middle. The awkward teenage years of emotional growth.

I don’t want to admit this to you because I’d rather not admit it to myself.

It’s a lot easier to show you the outcome than the process. In the process, I’m not perfect – in the process, I don’t know – I don’t know how I feel and I don’t know how things will turn out. In the process, I’m unsteady and unsure of myself. In the process, I’m learning to walk in my new normal.

In the messy middle, I question and I doubt. Am I making the right choices? With my kids, with my career? With my love life?  When I’m working through the mess, I feel more scared and anxious than strong and confident.

Scared and anxious makes me think, “you know, I should really get my sh*t together, because it’s the holidays and I should be all Fa to the la-la-la…”

I want to seize control.

But I can’t because rushing the process will ultimately mean avoiding the growth and the learning I’ll need for the next phase of my journey.

Uncertainty is a bitch.

So – GRACE. I surrender to grace. Grace for me and grace for those around me. In the places where I want to seize control and take over so that I can feel better about myself, I unclench my fists and simply let go. I practice doing this as many as 100 times a day if needed. This place of surrender puts me one step closer to God and the will of the universe. Which is ultimately where I want to be – for change, for growth, and to stay in peace while I gather and reflect while celebrating the holidays.

Ah – sweet irony.

The messy middle might not feel good, but maybe it IS good. Perhaps I’m doing better than I thought. Perhaps I’m in the very place I need to be. Perhaps you are as well.

Happy Holidays everyone – here’s to making it great.