During the period between Christmas and New Year I spent some time with my mum and dad; separately, but in one chunk of time, 7 days including Christmas Day. 7 days is too long. 7 days with gastro included is definitely too long.
In the lead up to the festive season I had been delving into my past and wanting to clear away some emotional baggage that was holding me back. I really wanted to connect with my parents, and I guess influence them, in my mind to help them. Help them to be more open with their feelings and emotions, help them to open up and have conversations with me that were about more than the weather or what we were eating for our next meal. I wanted to open up and talk to them about my adolescence, about what happened when I left home as a 16 year old one morning at 3am never to return, but we don't talk about stuff like that. We pretend things didn't happen or aren't happening and turn on the tv, talk about sport or not talk at all.
By New Years Eve I was emotionally wasted, I could barely hold back the tears and the flurry of negativity from my mind. It wasn't all about my failure to connect with my mum and dad, a big part of it was that after 5 years as a single person I felt like I failed to connect to anyone. And ultimately that's not true, I do have great people in my life that feel very connected to, but the fact that I don't have a man in my life who really cares for me and connects to me, that I don't have an intimate relationship with someone really special felt like carrying around a big heavy bag of full of failure.
When I arrived home I felt immediately relieved. I could let the tears rage and be sad. No pretending. It was as if I could finally put down the heavy bag and leave it in the corner while I wallowed in my feelings of sadness, really be in it.
As New Years Eve unfolded, a couple of ciders in, I decided it was time to unpack. I dragged that big heavy bag from the corner and I sat down and wrote out a list of all the great, awful, good and crap things that happened in 2013. Then I wrote a list of all of the things I was leaving in 2013, all the things I don't need and don't want anymore, the feelings, the judgements, the beliefs, behaviours and people that don't make my life better.
The clock neared closer to midnight and I sat down in stillness, connected to my heart and cleared away the debris. Sitting there I felt calm and at peace in the stillness, from there I turned my focus to all the wonderful things I wanted to bring in for 2014. As the fire works started popping and cracking outside and the new year dawned it was those thoughts that I carried into the first moments of the new year.
I got up, went out onto my balcony and watched the fireworks. I felt better already. Nothing had changed but I had. I had unpacked the past, let it be what it was, realised I can't change it, accepted my parents are who they are and thats okay and left my empty bag at the gates of Struggletown.
My three tips for getting out of Struggletown and dumping that bag of crap:
1. Let people be who they are, just don't be around them for 7 days straight.
2. Better out than in - cry, be sad, feel sorry for yourself.
3. Accept things the way they are then decide what you want to change or bring into your life.
Nicole L Betts
Nicole Betts is an internationally accredited Qigong & Meditation Teacher, Fitness Instructor and Holistic Health Coach.