What is there about the holiday season and year end that brings out the best – and the worst? In people and situations. Perhaps it’s the stress of adding a million (and 1) things to an already crowded to-do list? Or maybe it’s being with tedious folks who become even more tedious at this time of year. Folks we can avoid 360+ days but just let Christmas roll around and there they are again!
For some, this time of year is lonely and depressing. As we grow more ‘vintage’, the realization of life passing by can be a source of anxiety and sadness. For those who’ve lost loved ones during the year – it’s a very difficult adjustment to handle an “empty chair” at what is a season of joy!
Why did I start the post in this manner? Not sure except when dealing with life challenges, the best course of action is honesty in facing our personal truths! Otherwise, dealing with and resolving issues is an exercise in futility. They may hide in the background; but lurk there only to return for another season of angst.
That’s where I find myself on Monday, December 8 just 17 days from Christmas!
The nitty-gritty isn’t important except to say that after my husband’s death in 1976, a 19 year history of painful experiences at the hands of some folks came to an end. They ceased because those folks ceased to be active in my life. While I resented the fact they didn’t step up to the plate to help; I was relieved to not have to deal with insensitivity and ridicule that had become standard operating procedure. I recovered a sense of self esteem and went about raising daughters and making the best of widowed life. I also grew and matured as a woman in business and as a woman of faith!
I thought I had put all that behind me. Only because the perpetrators were out of sight and for the most part – out of mind. But I was wrong. I had not faced the reality of the hurt that 19 years had carved indelibly on my heart and soul. It just hid because the source of same was out of sight – and out of mind.
Now that has changed. The folks are back – at least for a season. And the behavior that dug into my psyche has returned as well. Their behavior hasn’t changed; and my reaction to it hasn’t changed either. I sit quietly and take it – even when it’s leveled at those who are dear to my heart. I fail to speak the truth of how the “digs” hurt and only think of great responses after the fact. I justify non-confrontational behavior with a stated concern that to confront would only cause a “ruckus”. Would it? Of course; but perhaps a “ruckus” is exactly what’s needed!
I’m a hypocrite! I urge others to “confront” difficult situations – even difficult people; yet I sit quietly while the slights and wedge-driving occur right before my eyes. I instruct clients to use “I” statements when confronting others with negative behavior; yet I would launch in a tirade of “when YOU do and say such and such, I . . .”!
I have prayed over the situation; dissolved into tears followed by angry outbursts followed by tears and ending with a tirade to self stating “I must let go of this – I must!” A beloved person advised to let it roll off my back. Problem with that is it’s not just one incident. It’s 19 + years of incidents having gone underground – and unresolved. Each new one just adds to the tip of a very large iceberg. And when it appears to threaten a bonded relationship – well it’s time for war. At the season of peace on earth – good will to men (and us women too)!
Engaging in personal honesty about any life situation is one thing. Being truthful about its impact on us is quite another. Honesty and truthfulness with self is only one side of the equation. Determining how best to handle in a way that leaves everyone with a smidgen of integrity is a dilemma that can leave us wondering if creating a ruckus is the only way out.
I don’t have an answer. I truly don’t. If I did, I wouldn’t have written this post on Monday, December 8, 2014. But I am confronting my own ‘demons’ about the situation because I know without doing so; they will run for cover simply to surface again the next time the folks appear.
Honesty with self relative to one’s truth is a sign of maturity. Please TWEET. In the midst of the pain and angst over how to deal with touchy situations like this is a lesson for me – and for you.
“What’s the lesson I’m to learn” is my prayer. Well one lesson comes from St. Paul when he tells us not to let the sun set on our anger. Deal with it; be done with it and move on. Another lesson to be learned is to put such folks as far from us as possible. If not possible; turn and confront with our truth – and let the chips fall where they may.
Most of all, don’t let such situations linger for years just because the source seems to have left the scene. Trust me, if we haven’t dealt with the painful emotions; the folks responsible will return and we’ll have to deal again – and again.
That’s the question I ask – is that why they have surfaced again? And at this time of year? Is it time to put to rest 19+ years in order to be healthy and whole? Is it time to give words to my personal honesty and truth?
Do you have such situations in your lives? Have you faced your personal honesty and the truth of your feelings? Have you found a way to handle them that leaves all with a modicum of integrity?
If so, please share. If not – then comfort yourself with the knowledge that you have a compatriot who understands and sympathizes. And seeks answers that aren’t easily forthcoming!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2382941337/pjm5n494765lxfks49h7_400x400.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]My passion is to see women become all they are designed to be – personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]