I love Christmas, honestly. It's one of my favorite times of the year. I have a very small family and only ever deal with my parents and brother. The holidays for me are quiet. I don't bounce from party to party or house to house. There aren't 5 different Christmas celebrations in 5 different homes. I don't have the stress of making a huge meal or having everyone over. This year in fact, because of the pandemic, I actually get to make Christmas dinner on Christmas day. That's a first in a long time, as I'm normally at my parents house for Christmas.
Sometimes in life, we go through things that we don't understand. Either the choice we made didn't turn out quite the way we planned or we end up somewhere we didn't really expect. (Just yell, "Plot twist!" when this happens and keep going!) Sometimes after a bad relationship, we think those months or years were a waste of time. But whatever the reason, it's easy to look around after the experience and wonder what the point was.
All relationships have their quirks, issues, and problems, mine is certainly no exception. I want to use this post to share some of those challenges with you in hopes that it helps anybody that might be living with similar challenges.
I’ve mentioned before that I lost a baby many years ago. When Megan Markle shared that she had miscarried, I once again mentioned my own experience with this. I wanted to share more about it and what happened after. My son was stillborn at approximately 26 weeks gestation in 1996. I was in my second trimester, which made him a stillborn birth instead of a miscarriage. Regardless of the length of the pregnancy, losing a child is a tragic experience for any family. I remember when my water broke (This was the only time out of all 3 pregnancies that my water broke naturally.). I didn’t completely understand what was happening. It took me a bit before I went to the hospital. I think it was mostly denial that took over. I don’t think I wanted to believe that I was going to lose the baby. I know I wasn’t ready for what was about to happen. The baby was still alive when I got to the hospital and my contractions had started, although they weren’t all that painful. They wanted to try to do an emergency C-section to save the baby. They didn’t get that far. Just before they were going to wheel me in for surgery, they checked for a heartbeat and there was none. The baby had died and they called off the surgery. They ended up giving me an epidural. This was also the only time I used pain killer. I had my other two kids…
Sometimes by acknowledging our own truth it forces change, lots of it. That change isn't always the easiest thing to work through. Change can cause fighting with others. Changes can cause some level of fear. Change can cause anxiety, stress and worry. But change can also be very good and make us very happy.
There's a lie in settling for something that you don't really want because you think it's what you can get in the moment. Settling is telling yourself nothing better is coming, you don't deserve what you want and there's no point in waiting to get it.
It's tough to balance the wants and needs of the people around us with our own wants and needs. We tend to prioritize other people over ourselves because we're taught to make other people happy first. Frequently we take ourselves off our own lists. Women do this more often than men as the demands of children, relationships and careers take priority over simple things like self-care.
We all carry baggage around. We get taught early on to hold onto our wounds as a sign of pride. They become battle scars that we show off to our friends. The ego’s need to say, “Look what I’ve been through.” or better yet, “I’ve been through more than you.” is one reason why people do this. The need to carry the pain around with us to show how strong we are is only one of the reasons people hang onto things. Another reason is that people beat themselves up with it. They carry around all this stuff and frequently pick it up and smack themselves with it, reminding themselves of how awful they are, what they could have, should have, would have done better and why they don’t deserve to have nice things. In some sense, this keeps them safe. It also keeps them stuck. They don’t go after what they want because they don’t feel worthy of it. They don’t allow themselves to have those nice things because they may not be able to handle them properly once they have it. The analogy I use for each painful experience or thing we think we did wrong is a box. Each box contains the pain and the memories from each experience. Every time we relive that experience it’s like we open the box and root through it. When we open the box we look at all the pictures, we feel the pain, we read the letters, and we admire…