“The Holidays!” These two words carry an infinite amount of meaning expressing joy, fatigue, deadlines, diet, love, loss, celebration and milestones. The boundless spectrum of emotions covers many heart spaces between wonderment and wounds. Upon hearing the tone used in the delivery of this phrase, we intrinsically “get it” and immediately connect with the speaker on an intimate level of shared understanding. Because, we all show up on this spectrum of holiday driven emotion. Ah yes, the “holiday heart.”
Wondering about my own holiday emotion, I allowed myself to free-fall into the roots of my feelings. I’ve noticed how various Christmas songs can shift my mood. Some tunes make me feel giddy, blissfully so. Others trigger feelings of hurt, disappointment and shame. And then it occurred to me, my inner child was behind the wheel. Every single year, she was in charge. Existing in tandem was the kid giddy with the promise of magic and the kid weighted with disappointment. The bipolarity of these two separate heart spaces reflecting both hope for peace and connectivity and memories of feeling shut out, unseen and unworthy. And there it was, I’d been wired to respond to the holiday season with my inner child at the helm of all perception. My default filter had me primed in making every effort to make this year different from all the others. This drive intensified when I became a mother because I was determined to give them holiday memories filled with wonderment and joy.
I would give myself and my daughters the holiday of hope and connectivity I’d always dreamed of as a kid rather than repeating my personal history. Using my natural urge for connection, my skills of entertaining and my credit cards I took charge of the season. I created, hosted, purchased, consumed, indulged and bestowed with jocularity at a breath taking pace. And at the end, I still came up short on the expectations I’d placed upon myself. In the end, that inner kid still felt sad, like she could have done more to have created that sought after world of a holiday season filled with magic and joy. In her heart, she made a goal to obtain and live out that magical family experience of her favorite Christmas movie, It’s A Wonderful Life. Every year, my inner child and I sit together and weep our way through that movie.
Oh, yes. The holidays. That wondrous time of year where the complexities of our individual humanity is teased out at department stores, cocktail parties and family gatherings. Movies, music, media and masters of marketing illuminate these delicate intricacies. They understand the utter loneliness that bubbles up in our chest, the vast family dynamics that are repeated yearly and our overwhelming need to make this year better. So many of us experience the holiday season though the filter of our inner child. This can be joyful to feel and share with loved ones but for many, this time of year brings heaviness to the heart.
For the inner child who filters the holidays through the wounds and disappointments of years past, it can be a heavy load to balance. Adult life circumstances like divorce, breaking up with your soul mate, losing a parent or the sad anniversary of losing any loved one can fuel feelings of overwhelming sadness. And who wants to feel down during “the holidays?” Many of these inner children go into “fix it” mode. Their emotionally triggered hearts urge avoidance of the potholes of pain that lay on route of the season. They purchase, party and plan their way through the season trying to outpace the pain.
Recognizing my decades worth of action taken to outpace the pain, I took pause to reflect on my inner child and her Holiday heart. While standing at the proverbial lighbox, I saw the holiday light. And, in that moment of self transparency, I saw both my inner child and adult self who share the mutual desire for a happy Holiday heart. My wholehearted adult heart, grounded self awareness and love has the capacity and skill to refocus the filter and choose wonderment over wounds. She has chosen for both hearts, a season of joy that is released from past patterns of expectations and disappointments. She has created a space for both the inner child and adult hearts to freely experience the bliss of “the holidays!”
So this year, I am at the helm of my Holiday perception, relishing a year’s worth of hard earned achievement as a healthy, wholehearted human. I control the filter and am enjoying all the good-hearted magic that this time of year holds. My wholehearted filter navigates my creativity, consumption and connectivity.
This self love, brighter than any shiny piece of jewelry and stronger than any old patterns of despair, is everlasting. It is the wellspring of all things hopeful and bestows more upon my children’s growth than anything I could ever purchase. I’ve decided to take a year off from It’s A Wonderful Life and instead watch home movies of our own wonderful lives. Our imperfect, authentic, robust lives created and shared with the very truest intentions of love.
And in this, I have gifted my inner child with the love and family connectivity she always deserved and released her from holding the space for something she had the heart to create all along. I let her know, it’s okay because this year, I’ve got the wheel.
For the first time in my life, my holiday heart feels blissfully giddy. This year is already better than the last holiday because this year is filtered through appreciation and wonderment.
© coypright 2015
by laura phoenix power all rights reserved