Today I finally have a chance to head to work and get a few things done (namely this) and I am so grateful we have our nanny to help us. Its a few days after Christmas and we are settling down from the melee of toys and holiday treats. In all honesty I'm not a huge fan of Christmas or Thanksgiving or many national holidays for that matter. I feel a bit taken-hostage by the consumerism and the obligations and by my own negative reactions to such things. My quest to downsize, consume less, and live more has been about letting go, not just of the physical things, but also I've wanted to let go of the negative patterns and thoughts that have paraded around in my brain year after year. Little pirates who take my consciousness captive and force me to reenact the same tired lines I have always sung when it comes to family and has now bled over into my parenting and relationship. My mother is here to visit and though I am so grateful she is here for the kids, I feel this obligation to entertain her and at the same time escape from it all. I find myself buried in a TV show or book or any other distraction to keep from being present with it. To keep from being present with the uncomfortable feelings of my anguished youth that want to blame and be childish and say spiteful things.
And I've said some untoward things to my mother already. It is so automatic, my contempt. It flows so freely and is so barbed. It comes out of my mouth like a fat cat and just hisses and groans. It's like it isn't even me, but I'm compelled to put her in her place. I watch it come out and think "what the hell? So unnecessary. Keep your mouth shut, that is mean." And it is, unnecessary and mean. I know that she is trying to help. I know that no amount of my derision has ever stopped her from sharing her opinion. I know that she will give unsolicited advice over and over no matter what I think, say or do. This is so deeply ingrained in her and she does not want to change. So why, would I beat my head against this same wall? Why would I go to a dry well looking for water?
On my way over to work today, I was asking myself. "What do you want from her?" Really I was asking this wounded child part of my psyche that seems to have surfaced with her presence. Because at a distance, I am fine with my mom. I am over here, I am me, I am not going to be what she wants and I am okay with that. But when we are face to face, I completely falter. I become the child again. I become that girl I left behind long ago. She is still so hurt. I know she (old me) wants to talk about it, but I (current me) also know that is not a fruitful endeavor. We have tried. We have asked some questions and we have said our hurts out loud to my mom. The hard part is that I don't think that even if she (my mother) said she was sorry would I feel better. I don't know there really IS something she could do. I think it's something I have to work out on my own. The anger I feel is about my own lack of control I feel. Over my life, over what happened to her and to me, over my inability to shake this anger. I hate that I have to continually make amends for snapping at her. I'm so over it. I want to just be fine. I want to just let her do her thing. Or I just want to be okay with the fact that I have to set about 10 million boundaries in just about every conversation we have. But either way I'm exhausted. Just having my family near me or in my everyday life is tiring. I'm constantly wanting them to be okay, and I feel like I'm being dishonest by even participating half the time.
Okay, so I have some work left to do. I have some chains that need to be untangled and taken off. Some of it comes back to complete acceptance of myself and my life as it is. I will stop apologizing for "doing it wrong" in the eyes of others. I will not take responsibility for the offence anyone (including family) takes for how I live. I will not take responsibility for the reactions people have to me being vegan, a minimalist, an environmentalist, unschooling my children, not drinking, not doing drugs, not wanting to buy a bunch of plastic crap (which my kids were given a lot of for Christmas), not gossiping or talking about others, being in recovery, being frugal, using my voice to speak out about things, thinking we are all beautiful (myself included), wearing or not wearing whatever I want, talking about death and money, being a boss, wanting to retire early, living in an RV, traveling, creating content, marketing myself or my brand, looking for my people, shedding trauma, learning about the mysteries of the Universe, and continuing to grow spiritually and mentally.
This is what I want to leave behind in 2020. I want to leave behind all the dishonesties I've told about myself and dishonest actions and words. I want to leave behind all the people-pleasing acts I have done and still do to make others comfortable. No, I don't want to hurt people purposefully, but I am done taking responsibility for both my, and the other party's part. To be clear, people will feel hurt. In much the same way I am hurt when my mother is herself. But I will not be the one taking responsibility. I will be true to myself and hopefully others will take the opportunity to do the same.
And here is why. Historically, when I have stopped living for others and instead have stuck to my own inner compass for my life, the things I had wanted begin to unfold in front of me. The Universe has cleared the path for me. When I stopped letting men tell me how a relationship would go, I got the best relationship of my life. I found a person who liked me just as I was, but more importantly, I never lost myself in it. Seriously, it happened immediately. In my post about my partner I tell the whole story.
My current sponsor once asked me "Do you really want to hang out with people who don't want to hang out with you?" in response to me asking her what I should do about some friends who were leaving me out. At first, I was like "Yes! That's why I'm calling you (duh)" But then as I was thinking about it I realized how crazy that was. Worrying about people liking me who didn't in fact like me all that much. I realized the answer, if I was being totally honest with myself (now that I had some self-esteem brewing), was No. No, I do not want to hang out with people who do not want to hang out with me (friends or family). I love it. So simple, yet so difficult to grasp. So I'm taking this theme into the new year. I hope you join, but if not, hey! That's perfectly okay too.
Amen and Happy Trails