I'm on my third knot - you know the one that you tie to the end of your rope when you need to hang on? That one. These past few weeks have taken on their own flight pattern and all that wind that I wished to hoist my sail in a previous post came and took me by surprise. The challenge was that it took the season, all the things on the to do list and everyone around me and hoisted them forward. I sat on the sidelines and watched it all move away at a breakneck speed. What frightened me the most is that I convinced myself that I didn't give a shit while I watched it sail away.
I left a comment a few days ago on another blog about making a list of gratitude to help one get in the holiday spirit. Perhaps it worked for her but it has not worked for me. I just have not been in the mind place or the heart place that I wanted to be this year. This is a repeat and regurgitate from previous years. My mind is overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions and other things that I can't recognize. My time is heavily occupied with conversations with my self. Those conversations that I have with my self back are occupying an enormous amount of time. I'm so weary of these conversations that I have with my self. They only offer insight but rarely do they offer solutions.
Self says to me, "Well, if you really wanted to be in the spirit, you'd find a way to do it. You find a way to do everything else that you really want to make happen. What is different this time?"
"I don't know and that's not a cop out. I really don't know what is up within me. Maybe I'm depressed? I am resentful about certain people and the way that some things and events have unfolded (or not unfolded). I am frustrated that my commission check was messed up for the month of December and all month long I have struggled to meet the $3500 in budget requirements that our family has for this month. What was supposed to be direct deposited into my checking account on the 5th of the month only arrived in yesterday's mail. Then I spent the entire day shopping for all the people on our Christmas list feeling horribly resentful about it all. MusicMan is clueless to my needs and is emotionally suffocating me because for whatever reasons, he can't seem to grasp that the best kind of support for me is encouragement to sort things out and not hovering in my personal space. For 5 weeks, I've been asking my younger kids what they want Santa to bring and they can't utter one thing that is consistent. Then, this past week, they want a Wii. That's it....just a Wii. I went to five different places and there is not one Wii in this town to be found. I went to three places within 50 miles and there is not one to be found. I feel like a failure because I can't come up with the one thing that they want. My friend's brain cancer is back in full force. I feel obligated to attend something that we are going to today and I just want to sit by the fire with a couple of glasses of wine and pout" I huffed back at myself. "If I'm not with others, I don't have to think about how they disappoint me or don't reciprocate in the relationships or how......"
Self cut me off........"Yeah, yeah, yeah! Bitch! Moan! and Groan! why don't you?" "Why, when you have more than most people in the world do you get like this at this time of year? What about this, 'make a list of what you have to be thankful for' mentality that you promote to those that know you?"
I returned the rudeness, "Don't guilt me with that crap. I am totally aware that I have more than most but everything that I have does not compensate for what I need that I don't have. I feel like my soul has MRSA and it keeps festering and building to a head but there is no relief and the infection is eating me away and preventing me from experiencing the joy and love that can be part of my life. How and Why do I get like this? Especially at this time of the year?" I could feel the tears welling in my eyes and spilling over onto my cheeks as my anger opened up to reveal the deep pain beneath.
I llistened for other self's reply, "I know brain cancer sucks but you already know what you need to focus on there. And Dora, it's not failure that you are feeling. It is powerlessness. And that, my dear, is something that you don't do well."
"Well, you are probably right" I said as I realized the truth in the words. "But I'm damn tired of feeling like this every single Christmas. I don't care about the decorations that are still in the box that I haven't finished. I don't have the enthusiasm that I crave to have about the childlike spirit of the holiday. I am not the least bit looking forward to attending the event this afternoon or over the weekend....and while I will put on a smiley face while there - deep down, what I really want is to just attend the midnight church service tonight all by myself. I'm tired of worrying about what everyone else wants.....when it rarely is reciprocated." I was almost out of breath with my pain disguised as bitterness and self pity.
My other self began softly, "You are right. We go through this every single year. And each year the intensity is magnified. Powerlessness is not easy for you to digest, much less live. It's eating a hole in your soul. Now your bitterness and your resentment is oozing out of you and those little things that you used to shrug off and take in stride are overpowering you because you aren't tending to you. So your older kids only come around when they want something. So othersare highly focused on themselves and not what you might need, especially at this time of year. So you feel very stressed about the financial responsibility that you shoulder for your family. So you are upset about not being able to find the Wii.....So you want a different kind of intimate relationship with your husband..."
"Whoa!" I interrupted. "I didn't say anything about that. Where did that come from?" I demanded.
"You forget that I know you, dear" her words were soft and gentle. "I've lived with you for almost forty three years now and each year one of us gets wiser." There was no sarcasm in her voice, only tenderness and yes - wisdom.
I began, "Every year when I get like this, I build a wall around myself in hopes that I will not be disappointed or hurt. I know it hurts me and others but I still do it even when I know it is self destructive. I keep living in the illusion that if I could just do the right thing, or focus on the right thought or let go of the right baggage, that I could make it different for myself."
"How's that working for you so far?" she asked.
"It's not," I whispered in my self realization. "It's not working no matter what I do or how much effort I put forth."
"Then it's time to try something different" she offered.
"Like what?" I pleaded. "I've been trying this for five or six years now and it's not getting any better. I'm out of suggestions and options. What am I going to try next?"
She leaned in close and I could feel her very breath on my ear, "You'll figure it out. I'll be here to help you. After all, I am the wise one."
I laughed at the absurdity that only mirrored the truth. Yes, she's right. I'll figure it out.