The holiday season is approaching, and this can come with comfort, joy, fear, discomfort, amplified stress, hope, reflection, trauma and triggers, and most likely a combination of all of these. In our culture there is often an attempt to imprint one experience on to the collective whole, and that is never an actual interpretation of reality. So, if you are not enjoying or looking forward to the holidays, you are not alone. With all of the complexity that is here, that makes a lot of sense.
You don’t have to perform joy.
You can be with what is.
One thing is for sure, this time of year is a shift in the weather in most places. Those of us in the pacific northwest are experiencing shorter days and more darkness. We are moving towards the shortest day as the winter solstice approaches. This time also marks the end of the calendar year that the modern world has adopted.
And this season, we are asked to be in this time as isolated as possible to prevent the spread of the virus that has changed our worlds this past year.
It’s been a lot to navigate, it is a lot to navigate, and we don’t know when sustainable relief will present itself. And, amidst all of this wild time, we are still approaching a most triggering time for folks who struggle with food and body (most everyone; some name it and others can’t).
There may be some gifts to not being amidst a large gathering where dieting and body shame discussion seem to inevitably surface. If you are meeting virtually, you can mute conversations that feel triggering or too laborious to hold. Or oops! Technical difficulties. And, there is grief in that. What most of us are wanting more than anything, now more than ever, is connection. Diet culture does and always has disrupted that. It’s hard to witness others around us suffering. It is also difficult to navigate our own healing amidst toxic relationships with food and body, dictated by dominant culture.
It’s not your fault. The problem is outside of you. And it has impacted you.
This holiday season (and always) you deserve pleasure from food, ease from your daily grind, and space to be with yourself in all of the grief and complexity of what it is to be a human. There won’t always be others to hold you in your process, as you are the only one who knows it as intimately as you do, and you have the wisdom and the innate knowing of what you need (it’s what got you here). It’s been with you all along, it’s a matter of moving away the clutter that buried it, and moving through the loud array of voices that are trying to sell your self-care, and your healing, back to you. When in fact you are the only one that knows what that looks and feels like.
You can trust your process.
I hope that this uniquely bizarre holiday season you have some space to have your own needs met- whatever they may be. That you find some roots and trusting in your healing process. That you celebrate the fact that you made it to the end of 2020 and that in that there is innate resilience. That you find ways to connect with yourself and others that feels satisfying and safe. That you make space for pleasure and ease. And that you hold yourself with the love and tenderness that you deserve.