Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

Waking Up to What is Here

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I’m not sure why this holiday season has been so hard for me.

Well, maybe I do, but I just don’t want to admit it.

With so much to be grateful for, so much to be happy about, I entered the holiday season at some point in November with dread, anxiety, depression and numbness. Work was way too much and it kept compounding as the year got shorter. It provided a nice way for me to hide some of this. There was no time for me to get into the merry bustle when it seemed like the last quarter of the year was a constant battle of slaying dragons…and the dragons most times were winning. So I got lost in it and that made me sad. It was an ugly cycle. I know that sadness dripped over to the family. Hard to reconcile.

Dave’s most recent post was a call to release and turn this blog back to whatever it is supposed to be. I grin as I write that statement because, well, this is a rambling little place that is more cathartic than thematic.

And before I go there — to that other place of supposed to be — I think I have one last post to write about what was these past few months. Maybe by getting it down I get it out. And then, I can turn things around and journey into the new.

During this past year, I realized I begun to question how we as humans envelop ourselves in faith and in particular, of the religious variety. Very hard to say when so many of our friends and families sent up beautiful prayers on our behalf. Harder still when so many voiced that as our family news turned from uncertain to celebratory, these prayers had been answered. I admired this  faith — the conviction. But it was hard to return that feeling.  What was I missing? The prayers that were sent up for us were answered. But the prayers that were sent up for three other spouses that sat beside me in the cancer boat were not. They lost their loved ones. I didn’t. Harmony and discord. Gratitude and guilt.

As the days turned into holidays which are rooted in so many different flavors of faith, and ugly clashes and world events invaded our every conversation, I felt like I was in a hall of mirrors with the floor falling away. So many reflections and none of them seemed right to me anymore. Foundations of what I thought I believed in were slipping. As scary as these feelings were — and are — they carried a calming effect. The nothingness provided one less thing for me to worry about. Or perhaps…

Faith. Per the Google it is described as “confidence or trust in a person or thing; or the observance of an obligation from loyalty; or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement; or a belief not based on proof; or it may refer to a particular system of religious belief.”

I just don’t know. I believe in the promises I’ve made to Dave and the kids and I realize that I have room to demonstrate those promises more — not out of obligation but out of want. They make me whole and that feels right. I’ve got that faith and fidelity. Beyond that, it gets a little fuzzy.

I believe that there are things that happen that we just can’t explain, both good and bad. I believe that we surround ourselves with people who buoy us and we in turn buoy them. I’ve always believed in angels on earth and spirits that guide. But are these things due to the intercession of a deity or just plain human interaction and intuition? Am I wrong for casting away so much of the communal aspect of faith and making my world small? Is my question of faith a form of fear — of getting caught up in something that is so much bigger than myself that I lose myself to mob mantra — or is it a declaration of self-assurance — that in order to get by I just need to keep my immediate, tangible world in focus and deal with the outcomes as they may be?

I woke up this morning to quiet and for once I didn’t feel the weight of the days. I didn’t need to go to work. I didn’t need to do much of anything because Dave and the kids tackled the majority of preparations for this weekend. I succumbed to the head cold that I held off for the past week and wandered out to the tree to stare at it for a good long spell. Thus the space to think.

As I gazed on the tree that is a history of our family, friendships and love of the past 25+ years, I couldn’t help but think of this song. Not a traditional carol but an awareness of where I am now. And I think that this is okay because I also believe that we should ask questions and find the spaces of understanding among ourselves and each other… even when we feel that we are too busy to try or too staunch in our own convictions to comprehend another perspective.

I appreciate this morning’s dark for helping me think and feel but I don’t want to be captive to its seduction and completely slip away. Amid this uncertainty, this season, this now– I’m yearning for light and love for those close to me as well as all of humanity. People need peace and security. It’s a big wish that I have and I can be part of making it true by being present for those I love. And while together we are celebrating this season, I am having a hard time saying ‘Christmas’ this year because the word has become so polarizing in both the big and little spaces of my life. This is a first for me and maybe by admitting it, I can release some of the anxiety and dread that has enveloped me of late.~ Jacqui

 

 

December 24, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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