YEAR 8: Ham and cheese sandwich in hand, I sit down on the outskirts of a group of girls who are enjoying a few feeble rays of sunshine that are doing battle with the clouds.
They’re the coolest group in our year level. Cute, confident and quickly developing a coterie of boys that will do anything for a snippet of their attention.
I’m not blessed with Official Cool Membership but they tolerate me. (Which I consider a win…)
Another girl sits down on the outskirts of the circle and opens her lunchbox. She’s Asian and, given this was long before Modern Australian Asian Fusion cuisine became mainstream, her food is different to mine. Her food is different to the cool kids’ food.
One of the Queens of Cool wrinkles her nose in distaste. “What is that gross smell?”
It was a hurtful, nasty and racist dig at a sweet 14 year old who, through no choice of her own, was in the unfortunate position of being different to one of the Queens of Cool.
I deeply regret not speaking up in that moment.
Speaking up and sharing that different isn’t gross, speaking up with curiosity, speaking up with kindness.
I didn’t speak up because I was too worried about my own position in the group. I didn’t speak up because I was more committed to staying out of her line of fire than doing the right thing. I didn’t speak up because I was scared of the consequences of displeasing my Queen.
I didn’t speak up and I felt icky for days.
The icky feeling was a hangover of sorts. Just like over-indulging can provide a temporary high but grossness and pain later, my inaction provided a (temporary and false) protective layer in the moment but I felt sad, angry, scared and ashamed of my behaviour later.
So too, you may be experiencing a holiday hangover.
Christmas and other holidays can throw us into a maelstrom of comparison, insecurity and conflict.
We bite our tongues and hide ourselves in plain sight to please our families. We spend too much money on presents and food and fancy holidays to project an image of who we’re not (or not yet). We overeat and over-drink and over-Netflix because we’re bored or anxious.
Days or weeks later, we start to feel that icky feeling in the pit of our stomachs. We remember that conversation with shame, the credit card bill arrives, we genuinely can’t remember the last time we ate a green vegetable.
If this rings a bell or two, I invite you to tap along with me in the video below.
It’s totally normal to experience a holiday hangover. We all slip up, make silly decisions, act from a place of fear and insecurity.
The best thing to do is acknowledge the error in judgement, detox your energetic system and move into the new year feeling clear and powerful.
The video below is the exact energetic detox you need!
Enjoy and welcome to 2018!