I feel distant from my family, especially my father. I am usually the one to call him and lately, my calls are not returned. It tugs at my heart and pushes me to wonder "What I have done?" My mentor reminds me though, that it is not my fault, and that he is "in his disease".
Alcoholism is an insidious disease and has wrecked havoc on my family relationships.
My feelings come with tinges of pain, but I just need to be with them to step into new behaviors. It turns out there is beauty in the unfolding of my old habits and wading through those uncomfortable feelings.
My dad has taught me a lot, but was too often was a negative role model, time and time again. I have compassion for him because of his great wounds, but he has let them plague his whole life and engulf his children. He ended up teaching me in a backwards kind of way - making me decide what kind of parent I want to be, and how I am so glad to have stepped into a trail of healing instead of a trap of despair. I choose to heal my past to look at my faulty thinking so I can pass on a new way to my son.
This is the gift of dysfunction. You don't have to do it the way it has always been done!
Old wounds are sticky; they're like a quicksand weighing down your soul, but the only way through is to face it head on.
It gives me joy that I can get out of my own way to honor and cherish the great spirit of my son. "Doing the work" is quiet challenging at times, but I want to pave the way for my son to think differently.
So I say, be kind to others during the holiday season. The wounds are bare and the dry cold weather whips the vulnerable lesions creating a painful sting. The commercials, the hustle and bustle at the stores, people asking how and what you are doing, the photos on social media and the scents in the air can create a sense of "missing out".
It is a tender time that may bring longing for something that isn't, never was or will never be.
Be delicate to one another, as you never know the wounds' of another.
I step back this holiday season to move away from my old behaviors of trying to fix, of enlisting others in making my dad wrong, in wanting my dad to appreciate me or even "get me". I can cherish that he has helped me to create more of a family in my community. I have found so many people that I absolutely love and that treat me like family.
Unfortunately, my dad is a wounded soul who probably will never, ever be able to be who I need, or repair the wounds I experienced. I've learned though, that I don't need to punish him because it punishes me more. I don't need to make him wrong, because as many teachers offer, that bitterness keeps me in the bonds of dysfunction.
I set him free so I can set myself free.
I have and am building a beautiful life. My son will know my story someday but right now, I exhibit healing with my words, my actions and my absolute love for him.
This holiday season treat one another with love. People are in all phases of their journey and some haven't yet embarked on their healing. There are electric pain centers for some that might be magnified with the holidays. It isn't spoken and rarely acknowledged, but oh, so prevalent.
The smallest gesture can warm the heart of another.
Be kind, be loving, and know that most of us have wounds we are still working on healing.
Cranberry Orange Parfait
It reminds me of the layers of our life. It is a mixture of tangy, tart, sweet, juicy crunchy and a thing of beauty. Sometimes our current situation can sink down into the past with all the weight of our thoughts. This is a reminder to stand back and look at the beautiful life you have made. All the little pieces, challenging and joyous, make up the amazing life you are living today.
Enjoy this parfait to lift your spirits, do some self-care and to just know you've built a beautiful life.
- 32 ounce container of your choice of plain yogurt
- 1 cups of cranberry sauce (ingredients below)
- 2 oranges peeled, sliced then cut into small pieces
- 1/2 shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- *1-2 tablespoons of honey (find it okay without but is a nice addition)
- 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- zest from 1/2 an orange
- juice from 2 oranges
1. Prepare cranberry sauce in advance or chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before making. In a sauce pan combine cranberries, sugar, zest and juice from two oranges. Bring to a boil thin simmer about 20 minutes until it is a good thickness and the cranberries have burst. Stir occasionally.
2. Peel the orange. Thinly slice it then cut slice into fourths. Cutting a couple slice in half if you'd like to put slices on top.
3. Assembly: Pour half a cup of yogurt in the bottom of mason jar or whatever you are using. (This can also be done in a bowl, I would do a single layer over the top). Layer in the cranberry sauce, pieces of orange, shredded coconut and drizzle a little honey if using.
4. Layer another half a cup of yogurt on top of shredded coconut. Add more cranberry sauce, orange pieces and coconut. Then on half of the top sprinkle chia seeds and other half chopped pecans. Drizzle with a little more honey. Serve.
This is a fun, easy beautiful breakfast or snack on Thanksgiving. Also, great with leftover cranberry sauce. And can be made just for the parfait. Treat yourself and honor the melody of your life. Kindness extended to our self first is the greatest gift.