I’m fifty+ years old, have been on many holidays and I must admit I’ve never had a perfect holiday. Shocking I know but I did just have one that was the next best thing-it was ideal.
We had two weeks in a rented cottage, in a country where the sun shone everyday and we could easily travel anywhere on the Island by very accessible and affordable buses. The beach was at the end of our street and the cottage we rented had beautiful fluffy bath towels and an amazing little shaded deck where I did my morning meditation and we had our late afternoon naps. The people were friendly, the water was warm for swimming, the waves were fun to play in and we went on treasure hunts which is the next best thing to a good therapy session. It was so relaxing and easy just to be; one restful day meandered into the next. All of these simple pleasures certainly contributed to making this an ideal holiday but there was one other thing that clinched the deal. Any guesses? Give up? Okay, I’ll tell you!
Unbeknownst to me and sometimes in the last year or so, there has been a significant shift deep inside of me. Somewhere between a past holiday where I had all sorts of expectations on myself and others and this one where I was so happy and relaxed , I have actually learned to let go of the controls (mostly!). I was able to let this holiday unfold, I had very few expectations and I did not expect it to be perfect. Who knew it could be imperfect and still so ideal and such fun?
I didn’t even realize this change had happened until I returned home and reflected back on the previous two weeks. It was then I realized that during the two weeks away, I did have moments of great vulnerability and sadness when I was triggered back to experiences from past years. The difference this time was that I didn’t get angry or resentful towards that wounded part of me, the younger me, who experienced the trauma that causes some of my responses today. Instead, I gently and lovingly acknowledged what was going on in me and only when I felt safe and secure did I share it with my partner. (Side note: He has also changed and has learned that I don’t need “fixing” or “solutions” but just listening to. He simply asked, “Anything I can do?” and we were able to go on with our day.)
There were also moments during our holiday when my head felt a bit wonky and I wondered if I was doing okay or if I was heading for a mental relapse. Again, I was able to relax and turn it over to a power greater than me and go on with my day. You see, where-ever I go there I am so just because I leave the country, I’m still going to experience some of the same challenges, thoughts and feelings I have at home. It was an amazing gift to have the time, space and environment to let all of life unfold while living in the moment and trusting that all was and would continue to be well.
Recovery is beautiful and every once in a while, an experience comes along that demonstrates just how far I’ve come and for that I am encouraged and extremely grateful!
Love and blessings my friends,
Women in Recovery Everywhere
Some of the treasures we found and the ideal man who has agreed to travel this journey with me.