Like most people around the holidays, my husband and I decided to make the trek back to our home city to spend the holidays with our families. The origin of this idea was extremely pure – our nephew’s first Christmas, our son’s first REAL Christmas (with open eyes), our parents deeply missing our son and feeling left out of his life – and so we decided that spending this special time with them would be ideal.
Before we had barely opened our eyes, at the crack of dawn, to prepare to leave to the airport, what can only be described as a genuine Odyssey ensued – flight got pushed back almost 24 hours, sister-in-law had to get us new tickets with her work mileage, parking I originally paid for was full and I had forgotten to “make a reservation”. I felt like simultaneously laughing and crying because in my heart I think I already knew what this trip was going to be about.
Spoiler Alert: It was NOT going to be about smooth sailing.
Sure as shit, we arrive, and from the moment my son is in South Florida he starts blaring – crying hysterically – inconsolably. No matter how we carried him, fed him, played with him, napped him – nothing calmed him down. Up until this point in his life, he had NEVER cried like that. Not even as an infant. Not even at birth. Never.
Naturally, my family became alarmed – why is he behaving like this, he doesn’t want anyone of us to hold him – and it quickly devolved into parenting shaming.
“He’s being like this because you fed him something you shouldn’t have.”
“He’s being like this because you’re so far, and he doesn’t even know his family.”
“Wait, he’s not crawling yet? That’s not normal. Are you doing exercises with him?”
And on…and on…and on.
Perhaps a more experienced parent would have been able to let all of this heaping stress – screaming child + parenting criticism – roll off their back, but my husband and I are far from experienced. Santiago is our first kid, we were in a city that is now alien to us, he was behaving in a way we’ve never seen, and we aren’t used to being questioned at every turn for how we raise him.
So, we BROKE, man.
After a trip to urgent care (multiple teeth and ear fluid diagnosis), a ruined “surprise” 1 year birthday party because of said urgent care trip, countless stressful encounters with varying family members about usual holiday crap paired with parenting crap – we both HAD it.
We left Santi with my mom and spent the afternoon walking around an outdoor mall just talking. No movie. No “date”. We just talked. Unloaded. Opened up. Reflected. And then, I had a miracle.
A miracle is described as a “shift in perception”. Or, from A Course In Miracles, it’s the medium by which we recognize perception as false and see the TRUTH in a given circumstance.
I chose, in that moment, to see that situation for what it was – a higher calling to love and a higher calling to my own clarity.
Up until that moment, my husband and I had debated endlessly whether or not to move back closer to our family. It seemed that debate kept us from making a decision about home ownership in Georgia, because energetically we were being pulled in different directions. I was sending the wrong manifestation signal and so, nothing ever happened – no houses we liked, none within our means, no clarity on where to move, etc.
I had prayed for clarity. I had prayed for vision.
Thing about prayer is – it doesn’t always show up how we thought it would. I realized in that moment, that my prayers had been answered. That while we loved our family, we realized that living in their world would not work for who we are as people and as a family. Our values don’t align. Our lifestyles don’t align. And, there is no wrong in that – it’s just our truth.
So, I took away from the experience all the positive I could – my sister in law’s amazing meal prepping strategy, some home organization ideas from her home, the moments of laughter, the amazing gifts exchanged, hugging my sweet nephew – and decided that would be enough to declare this experience a win, after all.
And for the first time since my son was born, I was able to confidently say goodbye to my family and return home with my husband and our son, knowing that THIS was home base now. That we as a family had our own mission to live out and that from here on out, much more clarity would come.
What started out as a harrowing journey and holiday season turned into a truly life changing moment of awareness. I came back a different person.
I’m more productive. I’ve established a new early morning spiritual routine that keeps me very grounded. I meal prep weekly. I’m more organized. I FINALLY got clarity on my work/life balance vision. And, I feel…lighter.
So, to surmise, life is truly what we make of it. Prayer doesn’t always look like a good thing. And, solutions are hiding in unexpected circumstances. So, keep your reflecting capabilities open, your heart in a soft space, and your willingness to “see things differently” always turned on.
2017 is about Miracles, y’all. So let’s have us a MIRACULOUS year.
In Sincere Service,