Now that we are all gathered together under this lovely photograph, there is something you need to know. About me. About you. About us.
Picture yourself holding a cup of java, in your PJ’s on Christmas morning when a sweet, adorable, bed-headed wild child with sticky fingers passes you a box that has been wrapped in three different types of wrapping paper, 5 different types of ribbon, and it smells like drool. After it is handed to you, some of the wrapping paper sticks to the child’s fingers. You stifle nausea and fain joy as you reluctantly pull the gift towards yourself and some of the wrapping paper tears away prematurely. The child looks at you expectantly.
Do you like it?
Are you going to open it?
Are you happy?
As you behold the (can-this-be-called-a) gift in your hands, you try to find a word or two to do *authentic justice* to it.
Finally, because you are a really good person…you utter a sleepy, “This is supposed to be for ME? Gee, thanks…”
The room is quiet because everyone is dying to know: WHO is THIS THING from anyway?!
Well, it’s from ME, of course! (Consider yourself fore-warned.)
Do you like it?
You can just hold it for a while, if you want. I understand the hesitation. Really, I do. You don’t have to open it right away. After all, we all know that if a gift looks good on the outside, something good is on the inside. Right? Especially if you like gifts (ahh, the language a good gift speaks). And if no effort were put into the gift-wrap, well then…let’s all just say, “You’re ssssssssss-p-e-c-i-a-l….” ha ha ha…
Well, that’s me. I’m that special gift. It’s me. In all my glory. I
don’t apologize learning not to apologize for my wrapping. But it makes me self-conscious sometimes, so please excuse me if I waver in my attitude from time to time. But…IT’S ME!!
1. giving the gift of “ME”
This Christmas, my life could have turned out so much different. I sometimes let myself experience the thought of the nightmare of OPTION B had I chosen it when my affair was discovered. IF my choices had been different, this year I wouldn’t even be with my family.
I don’t say that out of a sense of fear or shame, I say it out of my own sense of AWE. Like it dawns on me that I am: One choice away from HAPPY and one choice away from SAD. One choice away from VULNERABLE and one choice away from SHAME.
I’m NOT SAYING that “my family should be glad I chose them.” I am saying that I’m so glad I’m here. In all my glory. They get me: All my mistakes. All my messed upedness. All my newly invented words. Because this is a part of who I am.
They have me. And this Christmas I am pouring all my energy into being me. Imperfectly. So that I can encourage others to embrace who they are.
Which brings me to…
Oh frick. Don’t stop reading now just because I’ve made this about YOU. I’m sure your wrapping paper and gift presentation looks a lot nicer than mine does. Ha.
If your family is larger than ONE, you may be dealing with the very same people you love to hate. People who are messed up, broken packages. You may even feel like the broken package is you. Welcome here. Let’s gather ourselves together under a tree, and pretend we are alive. Or actually be alive. Whichever you choose. Being alive means living in the moment. And this year, if your gift looks a little broken, let others see you. REALLY see you.
Scary, isn’t it? Well, that’s another post. In the meantime…
give your broken gifts a kiss for me.