Hello, dear ones.  I know that I often rely on the desert as a metaphor for the experience/aftermath of discovering that your husband is a sex addict.  But this Christmas…I am writing to you from a literal one. 

Jeff and I are without kiddos this year (as happens half of the time after one gets divorced) and so we decided to spend the week resting and celebrating in Palm Springs.  Neither of us had been here before so it was a bit of a risk but one that has totally paid off. I mean, any place with both palm trees and mountains is alright with me. 

But that’s not to say that every moment was perfect because I just don’t think that happens anymore, right? It seems like the older we get the more grief gets comingled with our Christmas joy.  The ghosts of Christmases past find their way knocking into the present.

I woke up this morning before Jeff did with the fresh remnants of a dream where my ex’s nephew (who I rarely see anymore) was at our house for Christmas and who’s playing with Mr. Pickles (one of our pugs) made me laugh out loud in my dreams.

The veils are thinner during the holidays as the days get shorter and darker. And the new moon and eclipse today asks us what we do we need to let go of as we start to transition into this new decade?

But as I sat crying this morning because I missed my own boys so terribly, it occurred to me that thing I needed to let go of was trying so hard to let go. It’s okay to miss the Christmases that might have been but won’t ever be now.

I wouldn’t change anything in my life at this point.  I really wouldn’t.  Discovering that my ex was a sex addict and the woman (aka warrior) that I had to become to survive that experience and, ultimately, manage to carve myself out of that abusive relationship was worth all of it.

Learning to be alone and to simultaneously trust that I wouldn’t always be while also believing that I would be okay if I was…it was like walking through fire.  As Sia sings, “I walked through fire to save my life.  And I want it, I want my life so bad.”

I refuse to minimize any of my experience or my emotions that result from this day or any others.  I am happier than I have ever been, and I still cried today. Because that’s a real life.  It’s all the feels all the time.  It is so sweet and such a mess. 

Merry Christmas to you, dear friend.  I hope that this LoveLetter finds you warm and cozy and surrounded by love. Regardless of where you are in the journey through the “desert.”  I hope you allow yourself to feel the full, human experience this holiday.  Knowing that the feelings won’t kill you (even when they feel like it) and trusting that whatever storm you’re in will eventually pass.  

 Until next time,

xoxo, Jenni