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Safeguarding the Home Within, by Spending the Holidays Without

Many of us are still searching for home.

We seek to find in others, especially around the holidays, a sense of comfort, solidarity, and love.

We expect the unexpected and hope for the best; as we make preparations to connect, and commune, with members of our tribe.

Getting lost in the reverie, in the magic of the season, counting down the days ahead.

We put a lot of pressure on 'tis the season,' to erase residual hurts. Rather than brace ourselves, we mask our wounds and sweep our unhealed traumas under the rug. To forgive and expect that history will change its course. Because during the holidays we migrate home -- no matter how broken the windows or how battered the fence.

We make peace with the pain that certain connections bring, because it's better than being the void that strains tradition.

We rehearse our lines and put on a brave face.

Our smile is practiced, our exit strategy is fool-proof - because there's only so much one can take.

We will sing the carols and enjoy the gingerbread competitions, once again.

Though the tune is off, and the smiles are strained, we each have a role to play in this charade.

At home, we are expected to be happy and filled with good cheer. So we feed the illusion. We hope that pretence makes way for a resolution... that gives us the permission to be real.

To break free.

When home translates as toxic family trees.

Tis the season to celebrate finding home within. To acknowledging that you have always been the family you needed around the holidays. No façade this year, you've chosen not to feed disillusionment by engaging with traditions that harm. The holidays this year are happy and safe. The holidays this year are free from toxic family trees.

Allow yourself the liberty to see, all the ways we can create and recreate family.

Home is sacred.

Home is a haven to be revered and protected.

It may take a lifetime to figure out, but for myself the mystery has been solved.

Home is a place that resides inside me.

Home lives within each of us.

To be extended only to those deserving, to those who bring peace and good cheer.

Whether celebrating together, or celebrating in solitude, remember that you are the only family you need.

Not just now, but recognize this holiday season that you've always been the family you needed.

Tis the season to opt out of tradition, if it means exposing yourself to those who have caused harm.

Gift yourself a holiday season that brings you personal joy and satisfaction.

Remembering you have all you need within to celebrate this year. Give yourself the freedom to choose what dynamics or traditions, to spend the holidays without.

Happy holidays!

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