Sunday, December 23, 2012

This is Something Big...

I feel disjointed.  It's Christmas and that always brings something up.  It is our first Christmas without GaGa.  Grief comes up in small waves here and there.  I miss the healthy grandmother who was so active in our lives and she particularly loved Christmas.  She may not have remembered birthdays but she was all about Christmas with decorations, presents and baking.

My little family of four had decided to shake things up by heading way out of town ON Christmas morning because we want to.  In my mind's framework that I had growing up, this is completely off the rails.  And it is exactly what I need to do.

Yet it is uncomfortable.

I have moments of complete excitement and then I have phases of anxiety and paralysis.  In telling my friends about our plans, most comment with bright energy "Oh, how exciting, you are going to have such a fun time."  At times, their excitement is more palpable than mine and I use theirs to help me along.

There has been a dictate in my mind that says I am supposed to be with my family of origin at holidays, and somehow the family I originated had taken a back seat.  In the last years, I have broken with this dictate and each year it has gotten easier to go against the flow.  My family has taken precedence.  That is why this trip is particularly important.

I can also tell it is important because issues of anxiety are creeping in with claustrophobia related to flying, riding in elevators, being in enclosed spaces with lots of people.  I truly know I will be okay, but the thoughts still pop up and I have to work through them and bring the Xanax.  Even having my own prescription of Xanax AND knowing I can take it - has been many hurdles to overcome.

There are so many layers to what is going on right now.  I truly had no sense of self.  Now that I am gaining my sense of self, who I am, what I want, my likes and dislikes and accepting myself wholeheartedly,   I see how very little sense of self I had.  "You don't know you are there, until you are there"

This poem posted by one of my dear FB friends says it all:


All too frequently we relate like timid birds who don’t dare to leave the nest. Here we sit in a nest that’s getting pretty smelly and that hasn’t served its function for a very long time. No one is arriving to feed us. No one is protecting us and keeping us warm. And yet we keep hoping mother bird will arrive.

We could do ourselves the ultimate favor and finally get out of that nest. That this takes courage is obvious. That we could use some helpful hints is also clear. We may doubt that we’re up to being a warrior-in-training. But we can ask ourselves this question: “Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?” '

from Pema Chodron

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