For some reason, this time of year helps me trip over old assumptions. That's a good thing because then I have the chance to decide whether I still believe in them or not.
Let me back up and explain that when I married, so many years ago, I chose a man with a strong moral compass. I knew I needed a compass very different from the one my birth family followed if I was going to become the good and honorable person I wanted to be. So I married such a man and adopted without question his moral compass. For the most part, that was a good thing, but there are days even now when I suddenly realize that I don't always have to do so.
Example: I bought myself a bracelet this week in a jewelry store. Not super expensive and very, very pretty. And it was like an earthquake beneath my feet to do so. Why? Because my ex-husband and his family believed that if you had money for jewelry you should give it to others in need. It took until now for me to even notice the inconsistency--that there were lots of things it was okay to spend that much money (or more!) on, just not jewelry--and to realize that it was okay to spend money on something that would bring me so much joy. One more step, in other words, of claiming who I am. Not who someone else thinks I should be, but who I am.
It is another step in realizing that I can trust myself to be a good and honorable person without having to blindly follow someone else's moral compass.
I also found myself checking Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books out of the library this week and realizing the moment I began to read them that this was part of where my hope came from when I was a child. Back then, adults around me couldn't be trusted and none of the ones who could would listen to what I had to say. But in these books the kids (well, okay 18 year olds) were solving mysteries and defeating bad guys when adults had failed to do so. So all I had to do was hold on until I was that age and everything--maybe--would be okay. On many levels, a bunch of things suddenly made sense--including why the fact that someone was an adult didn't necessarily feel very reassuring to me.
As I cook new things and create some homemade presents for friends, I'm discovering talents I'd believed I didn't have.
Each holiday is a chance for me to "rewrite" what it means and fine tune or create new traditions that will serve ME well and bring ME joy.
Here's hoping that each of you are discovering assumptions you can release and creating true moments of joy in your holidays.
Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),