A holiday message from our house to yours. If you’re living with someone near and dear to you, you’re likely attuned to their moods, values, likes, and dislikes. It’s a big part of being human to sense actions and behaviors of those around us, especially people we love and cherish. With the holidays approaching, and possibly with a desire to put a tough year/era/season behind you, it can be useful to take cues from those people, and to be more sensitive to the emanations they’ll pick up on.
Recently, while writing Journey Well, we had occasion to explore this aspect of relationships, and the experience was revealing. The chapter involved the necessity of ‘forgiveness.’ That morning, I realized that Mariah was out of sorts, even a bit hypersensitive about something. It turned out the forgiveness exploration had uncovered a painful episode from her childhood. Here’s the story, taken directly from Chapter 3 of Journey Well, You Are More Than Enough:
We had been working on “forgiveness” in this book. My distress came from paradigms I learned at catechism lessons. At the tender age of seven, catholic kids make their “first confession,” a rite meant to cleanse their souls of sin. When I entered the confessional at seven, I told the priest I had no sins. My statement elicited a blistering rebuke from the man behind the screen. He demanded that I manufacture a few sins so he could be benevolent and forgive me. When I wouldn’t do it, he called my mother to come pick me up. Mom was not amused at my statement to the priest that I had no sins to confess.
Lest you wonder, dear reader, I’ve since rectified the situation; I now have many things which need confessing. These days, I bypass the priestly intervention and go straight to the source. It seems to work out better for all concerned.
The lesson is simple: If you or someone close to you feels out of sorts, or unusually sensitive, it may be useful to examine where those feelings came from. It may be therapeutic to unpack them, dive in, take yourself back even to childhood and relive the experience, or at least explore it. The reason this is important now is that the holidays inevitably dredge up feelings and sensitivities we manage to ignore or suppress for the rest of the year. People we love and cherish are feeling the hyper-sensitive emotions and memories as well, so raise your radar antenna and scan for those signals.
The other side of the story is this: In writing about forgiveness in Journey Well, it became clear as holy water to us that those we must forgive above all others is ourselves. This may be the best indulgence to be had during the holiday season.
From our house to yours, Happy Holidays, and let’s have an amazing 2023!