Remember to applaud what does go well

The lovely brown turkey, all crispy-skinned and herb-crusted, has been pulled from the

oven, as  steamy swirls of delicious scents emit from the Dutch oven.

In its place are baking two pans of lovely gingerbread, made with local sorghum, which is a Southern syrup, boiled like molasses, but with a deeper, almost smoky taste.

Here we are, on Christmas Eve after rushing about, making sure everything needed for cooking is bought and made ready.
Except for the goat milk.

I took the boys with me to the store, a thirty mile trip, all told.
I ran out of milk on Sunday, but waited patiently until today to go at the “appointed” time. I forgot to get the cooler, so we had to go all the way home with the groceries. Then, I had to get the cooler, and travel the curvy eleven miles to the lady’s house for the milk.

She wasn’t home when I got there, and when I opened up the fridge, neither was the milk! Instead, there were three empty containers, each edged inside with lovely thick leftovers of creamy goodness.
How many times have we anticipated something so yummy and delicious as this, only to go to get it out of the fridge and our significant other has taken it? Oh, the disappointment, sadness, frustration and justified anger! The more I thought about how wronged I had been, the angrier I got.
What to do?

I got in the car and made the long, slow, curvy and bumpy road home. With no milk, but plenty of painful thoughts.

Why had the Creator put this woman in my life? (I wonder how many of our loving others think the same thing?)
My thoughts and anger went up, then down. Mad, then calm. Frustrated, then understanding. “I pay her a month in advance. She should have put a note on those containers so other customers wouldn’t take them….someone must have needed this more than me…she should have called me…it’s OK, it’s a lesson in patience. I’m being tested.”

By the time I’d gotten home, I’d returned to a slow, deep breath, calm demeanor and the decision to make the most of it.

But, really, what can we learn from this?

This lady is passive/aggressive. She is not comfortable in her own skin, and dislikes most things about herself. She is always on edge, and only feels at peace when she is over-achieving. Her accomplishments define her, instead of allowing herself to define her accomplishments. She has lost her authentic self somewhere along the way. She cannot be happy at rest, and subconsciously creates too much drama in her life so that she does not ever have to sit quietly with herself and figure out how why she stays angry, and grieve those angry parts of her self. Instead, she stays in a rut of confusion, exhaustion and never ending drama from which there seems to be no escape.

This type of energy is draining to be around, and will cause a potential date to disappear faster than t.v’s on black Friday, and husbands to find ways to stay away from home every possible minute of the day.

Does any of this sound familiar? Here’s how to change this for the coming new year and new you:

1. DE clutter your life, physically.

That means taking one section of one room per day, so that by the end of the week your house is organized and clutter-free. By one section,  I mean – one closet, one desk or work area, one utility room like laundry or bath – every day for the next week. It may not be an entire room, but it will clear the energy, relieve some stress in your head, make the air around you cleaner, and seeing the section done will give you a sense of completion. Women are wired to multi-task, so when we are surrounded by clutter or things look ‘messy’, it either consciously or sub-consciously keeps us irritated and unable to focus when we are around it. It will also empower you to do something else you haven’t tackled in awhile, like an old art or creative project – it’s contagious!

2. Find one physical thing about yourself that you hate, and spend time throughout that day telling yourself how blessed you are to have ‘x’ just the way it is. Choose a new body part each day for a week. Every time you look in the mirror or whenever you see your reflection, say to yourself, “I was created this way for a reason. Other people may not understand the value of ‘x’, but it is perfect for me. Thank you for giving me ‘a long, tall body’ for example. By the end of the day, you will start to see ways to value that part of yourself, and use it in more positive ways, like smile more, or stand taller. People will notice.

3. Pay closer attention to a thing or event that really irritates and gets you riled up. Look at the emotion attached about it that you hate, and instead of judging it, quickly write it down and later when you can sit for a few minutes, try to figure out how this relates to an issue in your past. You may really be surprised at how something from your past is still influencing how you presently behave.

For example, I hate it when the boys don’t clean up the bathroom after they get out. I thought about it, and it boils down to not feeling appreciated for what I do. As a child, I did not get recognition for any accomplishments, I was just expected to do more. I’ve had to do a lot of work on that inner child, and learn that other ways my boys show me appreciation is just as valid. And, they are just kids. Again, these are my issues from childhood, and I was expected to act like an adult without ever really enjoying youth, working since age 13, and then my dad left, etc. Still not my kids’ fault.

Understand, too, that how we experienced things as children is very different that how we see them now. We couldn’t process hurts while our brains were developing, and if we weren’t supported through an issue, then we carry that hurt to other parts of our lives forever if not addressed.

4. Once you are aware of the connection between present events and past trauma, painful memories or ways you were hurt, allow yourself the space to grieve. This is hard, dear, and I so appreciate the difficulty one can have in the remembering. But, it is in this unloved memory being experienced and acknowledged for what it was that these deep, untended wounds can begin to heal and give off less pain, which means a much better feeling you. It is always good to have a therapist or caring, healthy other who can share that hurt with you, to witness and share or mirror that yes, you were wronged, and that yes, you deserve comfort and kindness.

As for the goat lady issue to be resolved, I have to let it develop a little more. I left her an email and a voice mail asking for her to give me some direction on what I am to do to get my milk. I didn’t curse or yell on the voice mail. I will give her a day to respond. If she doesn’t, then I will try to find someone else to sell me the milk, and I will just ask her for my money back.

I don’t have the time to invest in someone with these types of issues who is not a family member or client. I know my boundaries, and will also respect her pain by not embarrassing her or being mean. It serves no purpose to aggravate an already tormented person.

You, too,  can heal, and you can find the person of your dreams, once you do.

Blessings for this holiday season and always…