Updated: Aug 6, 2019
BY DANIELLA ENGLISH
Since divorcing, I have struggled with Purim. Something about being mandated to be happy has me wanting throat punch all the happy, shiny people walking around. It’s just a constant reminder of all the ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ my life now represents or lacks for that matter.
Earlier in the week I had a full on crying meltdown in my car. I’m talking full on heaving, loud sobbing kind of meltdown. Purim, parenting and basically just life felt too much at that moment. I called my person who I always call in times of crisis- the one who can empathize, understand and extend love and kindness without judgement. And then I felt better and went in the house with a big, happy smile on my face…..*snort*, not even close. People who can do that are the stuff of superheros, I just sat in my car using my cape to wipe my nose and clean the gathering dust off the dashboard.
I actually don’t remember what I did next but somehow dinner was on the table and the kids made it to bed. The next day I decided I was tired of hating Purim. The pain and resentment of the past was just too heavy and I was tired of its weight on my shoulders. I decided I’m taking Purim back. But I’m taking it back for myself. I’m internalizing it. For a holiday about hidden miracles, we have done a stellar job in commodifying and externalizing it.
I started with Mishloach Manot, the packages given out on Purim day. In years past my house was an assembly line of simple carbohydrates making their way into beautiful packages. This year I made two packages with two edible items and gave the rest of the allocated funds to charity.
Seems like a good idea, right? But here’s the challenge; what do you do when someone drops off a package for you and you offer them nothing but a smile in return. Receiving is hard enough, receiving without reciprocity seems downright impossible. It’s Brene Brown’s words that are echoing in my mind,
“Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”
When I receive a package I accept that I am worthy of this independent of what I give back.
I accept that there is no shame in setting boundaries and limits for myself.
I accept that not making 25 perfectly assembled packages does not make me inferior.
I accept that a person making 25 perfectly assembled packages is their own choice and need not reflect my own.
I accept that is ok to receive.
I accept that this makes me uncomfortable.
I accept that growth is inherently uncomfortable.
I accept that I am worthy of other people’s generosity.
I accept that I am worthy of generosity to myself.
I accept that I am enough.
On this holiday my wish for everyone reading this and everyone skimming through it because you have someone knocking at your door now, or you’re sitting in the car waiting for the kids to come back from a delivery, is that you find a way to internalize this day for yourself. Enjoy the costumes, enjoy the food and use those to reflect your inner joy with anything you connect with. Even if it’s just for the three minutes you took to read this. Connect with something inside of you, independent of anyone else.
Happy Purim XO